inter isn’t just 4 months for dreaming of Florida or the Caribbean, or wishing it was summer so you could get away on those northern canoe trips,…doing some fishing along with a few beverages by the campfire…ok, lost my train of thought here. Back on track…believe it or not, winter can also be a great time of year to list your home.
Here are my top 5 advantages:
#1 Low Competition:
- The # of listings drops off dramatically from late fall into the winter. The lower the amount of inventory also means the lower amount of competition from other sellers vying for Buyer’s attention. As there are limited options for Buyers, and as long as buyer demand remains strong, you may even find multiple offers coming in above list price.
#2 Serious Buyers:
- So who the heck wants to go out in sub zero temps, drudge through 20 feet of snow (to and from school) while they could be inside a warm, cozy home sipping on a hot toddy? SERIOUS Buyers that’s who. Reasons to buy a home include job relocation, marital status changes, families growing or down-sizing, etc. and these aren’t just exclusive to the spring and summer months. I often find many Buyers in the peak seasons to be tire-kickers especially when it comes to open houses. If you hold an open house in mid-January and you get 5 couples through, that’s 5 serious buyers! No one in their right mind goes to an open house when it’s minus 20 outside unless they are serious and highly motivated.
#3 Motivated Agents:
- Let’s be honest here, winter isn’t a great time for many real estate agents. We are paid solely on commissions and rely on sales to make a living. Sure, many agents do take off down south for the a good amount of time during the winter but there are a number of us that stay behind to hold the fort down until the spring frenzy. The lower the inventory during these months also means that their are plenty of agents available that may only have one, two or no listings and would be highly motivated to list your property. Your agent will have plenty of time to focus on marketing activities to get your property sold. You may also find agents willing to give extra value added services such as a free pre-sale home inspection or commission rebate incentives.
#4 No Yard Work!:
- Curb appeal in the winter? Ya right. Ok, so there is still is some “yard” work to do even when snow drifts block your front door. However, you don’t need to worry about keeping the lawn cut, weeding, fixing up the flower beds or searching for bombs that the dog dropped in the backyard. You do have to keep the driveway, walkways, front porch and back deck shovelled off before an open house or a private showing. Focus on de-cluttering the interior of your home and make sure its neat, warm & comfortable before showing.
#5 Move in the Spring:
- The one thing I hear most in fall is “We don’t want to move in the winter”. I get it, who really would unless you ultimately had to? Since most closing dates can be anywhere from 30, 60 to 90 days or more, there is a good chance if you listed your home in January and sold it by the end of the month that you would likely be moving in the spring. You can also use the closing date as a negotiating tool to your benefit. If the Buyers really need to move in before the end of winter they may be willing to offer a little extra to cover your moving or carrying costs.