10 Reasons To Sell In The Winter
As housing markets continue to struggle for enough inventory to meet Buyer demand and prices continue to rise, serious homebuyers are widening their scope and choosing to shop throughout the year, not just during the warmer months.
1. Contrary to popular belief, the “spring market” in Hampton Roads is not always the best time to sell. The Buyers are ready now and many want to close in time for Christmas, but the Sellers all think they should wait until April or May – which of course is when EVERYONE decides to list their houses for sale. More inventory in the real spring means more competition – not good if you’re a Seller.
2. Some of the most serious and motivated buyers come out on our coldest days. Buyers who don their winter boots and mittens to go house hunting mean business. They aren’t just looky-loos or nosy neighbors. They are motivated and ready to make a move.
3. Year-end performance reviews could mean that more Buyers have money to spend on a home. “End-of-year financial bonuses or workers retiring with large payouts could mean opportunities for these buyers to upgrade their living situations or for first-time buyers to enter the housing market,” according to Temple. Mortgage officers are also less busy so loan processing can move faster.
4. It's actually cheaper to move in the Winter, according to moving company rates, and Buyers have more time off from work to get it all done. By going against the grain and moving during the winter, Buyers could save mucho dinero on the cost of a professional move, which is always appealing to folks.
5. New Year, New You. Most of us look at the arrival of January as a time of new beginnings, what says fresh start better than a fresh home? So in between visits to the gym and eating healthy food, a new home purchase might be just the thing to ring in a new year. And if you’ve been meaning to downsize or move to a different neighborhood, this might be your opportunity for a new beginning too!
6. If you’ve invested in making your home energy efficient, winter is the perfect time to show that energy efficiency off. Potential Buyers who live in drafty houses and cringe when the gas bill arrives will undoubtedly welcome a high-efficiency furnace, new windows and attic insulation. AND if you’ve got a fireplace and cozy living room or a boring backyard your house might actually look better in the winter. People love coming into a comforting space- furry blankets on the coach and softly scented candles might just create the ideal atmosphere for Buyers.
7. Fewer properties on the market means it’s easier for the marketing for your home to stand out. If you’re one of only a few houses on the market in your neighborhood, you’ll undoubtedly get more people at open houses too. We always notice an increase in traffic to our website in the cold months when people are snuggled up on the couch at night scrolling to keep their thumbs warm-shouldn’t those Buyers be seeing your home?
8. Curb appeal matters, and turning on twinkly lights is so much easier than weeding your garden every day! Of course you’ll need to shovel and salt the walkway, but isn’t that better than mowing the lawn everyday? Your house will look it's cutest with a tree up and smell like the season!
9. Fewer showings. I know, that sounds counter-productive, but do you really want 100 people traipsing through your house? I’d rather have 30 qualified and motivated Buyers anyday.
10. Money, money, money! Prices are up year over year for 2018, that should be music to your Seller ears! The highest sold price to listing price ratios always happen in the cold months. I don’t think I’ve ever worked a winter in real estate where I didn’t want to sell my own house.
Let's not forget about your next home either. In most cases, you’re selling your house because you’re looking to buy another. You also have the benefit of less competition for your ideal next house when you’re not shopping during the months like April and May. Negotiating with contingencies that your house sells as well could be more acceptable with fewer buyers to compete with.
If you’re thinking about selling and want to find out what your home is worth or want to discuss the pros and cons of listing your home in the winter, get in touch. It’s never too early to start planning for your sale!