Pros & Cons of Listing Your Home in the "Winter"
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” (or is it?) to sell?
Winter can be a great time to sell your home. Especially since “winter” doesn’t typically get below 60 degrees here. Just like with any season, there are pros and cons to selling your home in the winter.
If you’ve been contemplating whether you should sell your home now or wait until the holidays wind down, we made a list of everything that you should take into consideration.
Ps - Sellers often become Buyers, so if you are doing both this time of year, don’t make that same mistake! In a competitive market, low ball offers will never fly - not even in the winter.
Buyers mean business
While more buyers are looking in the spring and summer, there are more serious buyers in the winter season. With our "winter" weather, it's one of the most pleasurable times to be outside visiting open houses and showings. And if they are looking at homes instead of participating in holiday festivities, they probably need a home fast.
Most people will wait until spring to list their home. This means the housing inventory is much lower in the winter, leaving less competition for sellers.
Online house hunting is year-round
As Dave Ramsey says, “the internet has no seasons.” Since most people are busy preparing for the holidays in the winter, making sure your home has a good online presence is important. Most buyers will start their search online before in person. In fact, 93% of people use the internet in their home search, according to NAR.
More time off = more time for buying
You might think that being the busiest time of the year that people would be too busy to stop by and look at your house. But, people tend to take more time off work around the holidays leaving more time to search for their new home. The three-day weekends in January are also popular weekends for open houses and showings.
Buyers have limited budgets
As we wrap up the end of the year, a lot of people are tied up with other financial obligations such as holiday gifts and traveling, paying taxes, and making sure their own houses and vehicles are winter-ready. This may cause a lot of buyers to not want to invest in a home at this time of year.
Sellers tend to find themselves with multiple offers in spring and summer when buyers have more competition and need to be quick to make offers. In the winter, it’s less likely that sellers will have multiple offers. However, with 44 percent less inventory than we had last year - we are still seeing those multiple offers coming in strong!
More likely to reduce asking price
If your house is priced inaccurately and has been sitting on the market for a while, you may need to drop the price before spring. If you wait until more homes come on the market, it may be even harder to sell at market value. If you start out at market value, you'll have a better chance of selling for a decent price.
Negative connotation about listing in winter
For all of the reasons above and more, selling your home in the winter doesn't have the best reputation and most buyers probably know this. Buyers may even think that winter sellers are desperate to sell, causing them to lowball their offers.