Should You Sell Your Home in the Winter?

When considering the timing of selling your home, the natural assumption is that Spring, or really any other season, would be better than winter.  However, there is a case to be made for Old Man Winter as just the right time.

Motivated Buyers

Driving around to kill time and look at some houses when the weather is a balmy 70 degrees is one thing, but those trudging around in cold, snowy conditions likely need to buy a house soon! Cold weather helps to eliminate those who are not serious, and only the ready, willing, and able are out in the coldest months.

Less Competition

With fewer homes on the market, there will be less competition.  The closer to Spring and Summer, the more homes will flood the market.  By listing in the Winter, you’ll have more focus on your property by prospective buyers.  This is also the ideal time if your property does not quite hold up to the competition in your area.

Closer to Asking Price

If your home is priced fairly, selling in the winter can get you a higher price. Since there are less homes on the market during the winter, buyers are reluctant to miss out on a house by haggling the price.  During the summer months, with more choices, buyers may have several options to consider and be bolder about their initial offer.

Some Homes Show Better in the Winter

I had a client who was selling their property, which they only used in the winter. Because we are a big summer second home destination, the natural assumption was to wait until then.  However, their home is alive in the winter.  Show that!  Cozy fireplaces and outdoor firepits, Christmas decorations, and home-baked goodies in the kitchen all make the client feel warm and invited versus a vacant, closed-up home even if the weather is good.

Winter is a Season of Transition

So many people wait until “after the first of the year” for big decisions and changes in their life.  We see divorces, job changes, downsizing, estate sales (often the family wants ‘one last holiday in their loved ones’ home’), and upgrading after the holidays that there are more buyers out there than you would think.

Bottom Line

If you are ready to sell, the winter months could improve your chances of getting your home sold quickly.  Seasonal inventory lows, combined with the record low levels we are seeing today could be a great opportunity to sell quickly and for a great price.