As we head into the fall market there’s plenty to be excited about. Not only is the air crisp and the foliage beautiful, but the inventory is full of possibility for buyers that are both just beginning their search and for those that have been yet unable to secure a property.

That said, I’ll quote a now famous phrase, “Winter is Coming.”

REAL ESTATE: Winter is Coming - Get your Open House in Now 1

With the seasonal change comes the unique challenge of keeping sidewalks clear, and keeping ones home in showing ready condition. Late last winter I hosted an open house that had 60+ people through the door with their shoes on; tracking the outside in. With that kind of foot-traffic, booties and shoe-removal became impractical. A solid hour long clean-up conducted by myself and my co-host followed the near three hour open house.

Not many sellers would prefer to deal with this scenario, and consequently the fall market despite the more brisk temperatures is sure to be plenty warm particularly when we consider the lower inventory market we have faced. Houses that have sat on the market for an extended period of time due, due to a variety of possible factors, may have more motivated sellers. It is best to consult with your Realtor to understand whether a deal is meant to be had and garner insight into why the property has not yet moved.

In my experience, homes that sit on the market 60 to 100 days likely face any of three issues: 1) price being most prevalent 2) financing limitations and 3) uniqueness or functional obsolescence.

If you’re wondering what functional obsolescence may be, and how it may adversely affect the marketability of a home imagine all bedrooms on the second floor, and the only full-bathroom on the first floor. Another example would be access to a basement only from the outside of the home, or no driveway and a multitude of stairs to climb. There are certainly other examples that come with homes of a certain age or design, such as split kitchens or multiple trip-hazards built into a home a-la sunken living-rooms.

While any of these factors individually might not prevent a home from selling, two or more together certainly are a hindrance. At the time of writing this article there are, according to the MLS-PIN, 63 single-family houses for sale in Worcester with +100 days on market out of an inventory of 289. There are 97 properties (single & multi family, condominium) with +100 days on market out of that total inventory of 430. For sake of comparison the city of Boston, not counting suburbs such as Arlington or Cambridge, has a housing inventory of roughly 1,086 properties (single & multi-family, condominium) and 238 with +100 days on market.

As mentioned in my previous article the sweet spots sell, and the Worcester real estate market is certainly going strong into fall but I caution sellers to be wary…Winter is Coming…make your price adjustments in time.

Please join me next week for Listing Do’s & Don’ts, and what to expect from your full-service Realtor.

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