Nobody buys or sells a home in the winter, right? Wrong! In fact, if you check the numbers, you’ll find that a good chunk of home purchases happen during the coldest months of the year. Yes, spring is generally the most popular time of year to sell a house, with hordes of buyers looking to move into a new place before the school year begins, but if you decide to sell your home during the winter, experts say you could reap a reward in cold, hard cash!
Low Inventory = Less Competition
Since spring is the most popular home-selling season, the housing market is ultra-crowded with many other homes on the market at that time of year. And if you paid attention during Economics 101 in high school, it’s all about supply and demand. Lots of competition equals lower sales prices. But in the winter, there are fewer homes for sale. That competition over low inventory can make winter an ideal time to sell your home and pocket more money in your bank account.
Winter brings out the serious buyers
News flash: Not everyone looking at houses intends to make a purchase. Some people are contemplating moving in a couple years and may just want to see what’s on the market. Since more homes tend to go on the market in spring and fall, this is also when window shoppers are likely to be out looking. However, these looky-loos tend to be scarce during winter months. When I have buyers looking for homes in January and February, they’re real buyers looking to make a purchase—especially if it’s a great house. They don’t want to take the chance of waiting until spring and losing out on the home. There may be less people at these open houses in the winter months, but I would rather have 10 real buyers come through than 20 people who are just curious.
Year-end financial bonuses and payouts
As a seller, year-end performance reviews could mean that more people have money to spend on a home. End-of-year financial bonuses or workers retiring with large payouts could mean opportunities for these buyers to upgrade their living situations or for first-time buyers to enter the housing market. We see this happen all the time in the winter months.
You could also encounter buyers who are relocating for a job. One of the biggest months for corporate relocation is January/February, so those buyers, who need to move quickly, are out in full force looking for new homes to buy. Relocators typically have a limited amount of time to uproot their families and, as a result, don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time looking at properties. The kids need to get settled into school, and dealing with selling their old home can add another level of urgency and stress. So it’s likely that once they find a home that meets their requirements, these buyers will be ready to sign on the dotted line.
These are just a few of the many reasons why selling in the winter could pay off big time. If you are thinking about selling this year, maybe you should be calling us right now to talk about these benefits.