Conventional wisdom states that winter is the worst time to buy or sell a home, but we haven’t had a conventional real estate market in some time. While it used to be people were less interested in buying and selling during the hustle and bustle of the holiday seasons, the rules have been rewritten.
The Internet Has Changed Everything
Instead of having home shoppers traipsing through your home with snow-covered shoes during an open house, the internet lets buyers explore a new home without ever leaving the comfort of their own. Part of the old argument against listing in winter was the fact that shorter days meant fewer daylight hours–and it’s hard to read a phone number on a yard sign when it’s dark out–but again the internet has made this concern obsolete. If you do list your home in winter, it is a good idea to make sure the exterior of your home is well light and looks inviting for any prospective buyers who drive by.
Inventory is Down
Perhaps the best reason for listing your home for sale now, rather than waiting for spring, is that while the temperatures outside are cooling, the housing market is red hot. There are a variety of factors to explain, at least in part, why there is a shortage of homes for sale, with a strong economy being chief among them. This, paired with the low unemployment rate, the Millennial generation coming of age and the Baby Boomers looking to downsize, means more people are able to afford to own a home and they tend to be looking for similar qualities in a home. The McMansions that were so popular just before the housing crisis in the late aughts have faded from vogue and instead smaller, more affordable homes are in high demand. Regardless of the type of home you have, listing in winter means you’ll face less competition on the market and your home will stand out.
Flaunt It If You’ve Got It
Winter is a great time to show off some of the special features of your home. Whether it’s a fireplace, built-in sound system, or formal dining room with the holidays around the corner and entertaining on the mind, these “extras” will really make your home stand out. It is also a great time to showcases any energy efficiency upgrades you have as well. Depending on where you live, winter tends to bring out some of the challenges in a home–think frosty windows and icy gutters–so being able to show your home at a challenging time will help buyers see the value.
Nosey Nellies Need Not Apply
Winter tends to bring out serious buyers. While there are great advantages to buying and selling a home in the winter, the fact of the matter is that most people are not looking for a new home during the holidays. This also means that the ones who are looking are serious about making a deal happen. You can expect that a person who is looking to buy a home in winter, especially during the holidays, is motivated and ready to make a deal.
Winter can be an excellent time to sell your home, although it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering putting your home up for sale this holiday season do you research, find an agent you trust, and enjoy the process. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!