The summer months are nearing an end, and with it comes an end to the busy spring-summer season for selling homes.

But if you’ve been thinking of selling, there are many reasons to consider listing your property in the fall.

It’s true that most couples with children will try to purchase a new home in the spring or summer so they are able to be settled before school resumes.

But family homes are only one part of the resale market, and keep in mind there are many families who aren’t able to make the move during the summer, for a variety of reasons.

I work with many buyer clients who have been referred to me by relocation agencies because they have been transferred to Ottawa for work. These transfers happen throughout the year.

Buyers who have been transferred often have limited time and are serious about finding a place as soon as possible. I help them narrow their search, and they’re ready to act quickly and put in an offer when they find something they like.

Location can be another advantage. If you happen to live in a property in one of the city’s most in-demand neighbourhoods, such as the Glebe, Westboro, New Edinburgh or Rockcliffe, these properties will be in demand at any time of the year.

In my more than 30 years as a Realtor with a focus on Ottawa’s central older neighbourhoods, I know how eager many buyers are to find properties there.

For much of this past calendar year, Ottawa’s listings inventory has been lower than usual, and buyers looking in these neighbourhoods keep their eyes sharply peeled. In some particularly popular areas, this has led to multiple-offer situations for sellers in recent months.

Another property that can do well at any time of the year is a home likely to appeal to young first-time buyers or empty-nest couples looking to downsize to a smaller house or a condominium unit.

These buyers are not worried about making their purchases around the school year.

If you’ve been considering selling, I’d be happy to chat with you and give you feedback about your home and neighbourhood, current market conditions in Ottawa and whether a fall-winter listing could work to your advantage.

If you are considering listing your property in the fall, when days get shorter and the nights get cooler, here are a few pointers I share with seller clients:

Take some great summertime photos while you can:  As I prepare this column, it’s late August, when trees and gardens are still in full bloom and lawns are lush and green.

If you have a traditional residential house and you will be selling in the months when it’s getting colder, take photos highlighting your exterior landscaping, flowers, and appealing summer features such as an expansive deck or front porch.

These can be part of our presentation to show buyers what the place looks like in the summer months, even if they are seeing your home in October or November, when the trees and gardens are bare.

Add Curb Appeal with Fall Colours:  Even if your garden is not blooming by the time buyers are visiting, you can add vivid splashes of fall colour to your entrance or back decks to highlight the season. Think of adding big pots of yellow and orange mums at your entrance steps or on a back deck, along with maybe a pumpkin or two to add that warm fall colour.

Be sure to keep the exterior looking neat and tidy, with leaves raked and entrances cleared. Do your best to keep eavestroughs cleared of leaves and other debris.

Have Furnaces and Fireplaces Inspected and Cleaned Before Showings: As the temperatures get colder, it’s important for viewings to ensure your heating system and fireplaces are in perfect working order. If you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, have these units cleaned and inspected, and keep the paperwork to show buyers this work has been recently done.

If the weather is getting cooler when you’re having a showing or open house, a fireplace can help make your home feel warm and inviting.

Light the Lights, Inside and Out: Good lighting is important for showcasing your home at any time, and especially in the fall and winter months, if visits are scheduled at night. Turn on your outdoor lights to highlight the exterior and create a welcoming feel. Before a showing or open house, turn on all interior lights and lamps to create warmth and light in all rooms when buyers are inspecting the property.

If you’re considering selling or buying in coming months, I’d love to meet and chat about your situation.  You can read about me and my team and view my current listings at www.nancybenson.com to get an idea of the sophisticated marketing and professional staging and photography we offer our seller clients.

Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.