A couple of years ago I wrote the best practices outline for home sellers—Pro Strats for Selling Your Home in Winter. Now, on a related topic, I’m going to cover the reasons behind those strategies. Read on to learn five reasons why selling your home in winter is smart.
Buckle up, because there’s a lot here. Some of which you will never hear from that your other agents. It’s time to get real.
1. Less Inventory Means Less Competition
We’ve all heard that the best time to list your home for sale is in the spring. That’s often the case but not always. Depending on your real estate market, your home’s attributes, inventory levels, and even your motivation for selling, selling during the winter might make more sense.
First off, in almost every market across the country, there are fewer properties for sale in the winter than during the spring and summer. Fewer properties mean less competition for your home. It’s the simple economics of supply and demand. Now, you may have a tougher time getting top dollar but selling more quickly is certainly possible.
If you ask around, some Realtors will tell you they have their best sales month during the winter. Even full-time agents get to take vacations. When do you think they take them? That’s right! During the “off-season.” This means that the hard-working agents have the opportunity to really heat up during the coldest part of the year.
2. Winter Brings Out Most Serious Buyers
It’s true that more homes are sold during the summer months to a large extent because school is out. But there’s also a great opportunity to sell your home in the winter during the school’s holiday break. Most schools have a 2-3 week break for Christmas. It’s very common for people to plan their job relocation during this time.
Homebuyers relocating to your area are super motivated to buy quickly. The pressure is on! During the Summer months, experienced agents can tell you that some people touring homes for sale are simply “looking.” They might buy if that perfect house comes along. But in the winter months, buyers are definitely more serious about signing on the dotted line.
3. Outside Forces
A large number of corporations run their books by the calendar year. This means they are frequently adding (or removing) jobs at the end of the year for financial reasons. Corporate relocations often occur at the end of December.
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with Reason #2 that certain buyers are more serious than others. Corporate relos are about as serious as it gets. Think your home might appeal to an executive from Chicago moving to your city? Listing this winter might just be the smart move.
4. Greater Opportunity for Lower Closing Costs
Here’s something very few agents will openly share. Want to know why? Well, one very interesting way that selling your home in winter is smart is because listing agreements are negotiable by law. Did you catch that? Given that there’s less business going around some agents will lower their commission in order to gain new business. Not all agents mind you but the more eager (i.e. desperate). Keep in mind, you almost always get what you pay for.
5. Christmas Shopping for Homes
Once people get into that shopping mood it can be hard to stop. Certainly, buying a new home is a big purchase but often times workers get year-end bonuses or other unexpected cash. There’s this instinct in some people to immediately spend any newfound gains. This includes buying a brand-new home for Christmas!
This could be your home that buyers are looking at online. Maybe they’re eyeing a larger family room to accommodate a larger Christmas tree? Maybe it’s the fireplace that comes with a generous mantel, perfect for hanging stockings? There are many reasons people want a new home.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! If you are seriously considering selling your home, you may be interested in The Art of Selling Your Home During the Holidays. If you’d like me to help you sell your home, please contact me to schedule an appointment.