You’ve got plans to sell your home, but as you approach the end of the year, waiting until spring seems like torture. The house is already prepped, and you’re eyeing a new house you’d like to buy. So why wait?
As housing markets 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.
As a seller, you can benefit from selling your home during winter rather than having to wait until spring.
There is some seasonality to real estate, of course – many buyers who don’t feel the urgency may put off house hunting until after the winter months. That's why it’s important to price your home realistically. The winter months are not the time to test the market and see how high of an offer you can get. Price it correctly and attract the right buyer looking for a home like yours.
Here are five reasons the winter home-selling season may be your best option.
The buyers are as serious as you. Let’s face it, you are pretty dedicated to prepare your home and put it on the market when the weather is cold and the winter holidays are either gearing up, just ending, it’s January or February – it’s a busy time of year, after all. Fortunately, buyers are the same way during winter. While you may encounter buyers who have no timeline and want to tour dozens of houses in the spring, if a winter buyer is scheduling showings and touring houses, that means she’s looking to find the right house now.
Buyers care less about "days on market". There may be fewer active buyers, but their motivation for finding the right house means they won’t care about some of the superficial reasons that trip up buyers during more competitive selling seasons such as days on the market.
Spring is just a few months away. If you can’t find a buyer during the winter months, spring is bound to bring plenty of eager homebuyers to the market. As long as you make sure the house stays staged for buyers and looks fresh as the weather warms up, people who haven’t seen your listing yet will want to view all their options.
You also are not competing with as many buyers for your next house. In most cases, you are selling your house because you’re looking to buy another. You have the benefit of less competition for your ideal next house when you’re not shopping during the hotter spring sales months like April and May. Negotiating with contingencies that your house sells as well may be more acceptable to your seller with fewer buyers to compete with.
Be realistic on listing price. As you’re prepping to put your home on the market in winter, you may see other nearby homes on the market as well, and they’re likely priced in line or slightly below recent sales to ensure they attract the right buyers. Follow their lead. Market your home at the price it’s worth based on recent sales of comparable properties. The winter home-selling season is not the time to get ambitious with prices, it’s time to be realistic.
It’s undeniable. We know there are fewer buyers out there this time of year. Make sure your home is priced right because these buyers--are ready to buy now.