Conventional wisdom has been that the time to sell your home is the spring or summer and that you should sit out the winter season in favor of listing in the spring instead.
Conventional wisdom no longer applies
In a tighter marketplace it is actually becoming easier and more advantageous to list and sell your home during the winter in many parts of the country. Emotions sometimes run high during the holidays, so buyers are likely to pay what you want for your home. According to realtor.com, the median listing price nationwide this past February was $274,900, a 10 percent increase from February 2017.
As housing markets continue to struggle for enough inventory to meet buyer demand and prices continue to rise, serious homebuyers are making the choice to shop throughout the year, not just during the warmer months.
Serious buyers are always out there
The truth of the matter is that homes are bought and sold every day a of the year. The fall and winter months are a great time for a potential buyer to see what a neighborhood is like during the holidays starting with Halloween.
Some buyers want to know if there are light displays on houses and front yards for the December holidays. Plain and simple, they want to know the neighborhood they may be considering. That is something they will not find out should they delay their home search to the spring or summer.
Buyers need a sense of urgency
At the same time, the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve can be tricky as some buyers may put off house hunting until after the holidays. Thus, it is important to be realistic, not ambitious.
It is important to price your home correctly as the winter months may not be the best time to test the market. Your agent will likely share with you list prices and values for nearby houses on the market. The prices for those homes will likely be a guide that will ensure that the right buyers become interested.
Weather can also play a factor
Tucson benefits from a warm climate year-round, while Park City’s snowfall is typically followed by warmer days that may melt everything. But, tough weather still doesn’t mean you can’t make a successful deal during the winter months.
The right realtor with the right plan for selling your home can turn the weather into an advantage and a quick sale at the right price.
The winter season may be your best option
Winter buyers are as serious as winter sellers. If a winter buyer is scheduling showings and touring houses, that means they are looking to find the right house now rather than in the spring.
Buyers care less about the number of days a house is on the market and do not care about some of the superficial reasons that concern buyers during more competitive selling seasons. Houses selling during the winter season tend to stay on market a little longer and likely will not concern serious buyers.
According to Realtor.com, the nationwide median days on market for houses that sold in February 2018 was 83 days. Realtor.com also reported that May 2018 saw a median days on market of just 55 days on market. Both were a decrease when compared to the same time periods in 2017.
Reasonable mortgage rates
Another motivation for winter buyers may be that there is an expectation that the rates may increase in the near future. Buyers are able to afford more expensive homes when rates are lower. An increase in mortgage rates as spring arrives could cost buyers thousands of dollars and eliminate many of them from the real estate marketplace.
Motivations are plentiful for some buyers
Some people have tax reasons for making a purchase before the end of the year. Also, January is traditionally the time of year when people begin new jobs in new locations. Now is the perfect time to be on the market in order to capture that market.
The number of real estate transactions can be expected to increase as spring approaches. A quicker transaction and closing can be accomplished during the winter rather than in the spring or summer. A quicker transaction translates into less stress.