Winter Sellers' Home-Court Advantage

Posted by Betsy Osman on Thursday, December 19th, 2019 at 7:00am

Winter_SellersSo you’re seriously considering selling your home. Better put it off until this spring when the real estate market heats back up. Right? Wrong!

Though conventional wisdom would have you believe it’s better to wait for mild weather to sell your house, the truth is there are a number of reasons why listing your home during the long winter months can actually work in your favor. Here are just a few.

1. Less Competition

It’s true that fewer people tend to list their homes during the winter months, but this means there will be fewer listings to compete with. It’s always better to be the only home for sale in your neighborhood, rather than being one of four.

“Many sellers take their houses off of the market for the winter so there is less competition,” says Brinkoetter Realtor, Sherry Plain. “That’s a mistake! We’re already experiencing low inventory in the Decatur area market so there will be even less competition this winter. It’s a good time to be a seller!”

2. Motivated Buyers

When it’s cold outside and road conditions are less than ideal, it takes a little more motivation to venture out to look at houses. So when you hear from potential buyers, it’s safe to assume they aren’t just window shoppers. These are serious shoppers; the folks who know what they want and can’t wait on mild, springtime temperatures to make their move. 

Says Plain, “Those who brave the elements to go out looking are probably not messing around!”

Furthermore, it’s the motivated buyers who are more likely to be pre-approved for a mortgage. And because the housing inventory is generally leaner during the winter, lenders are less busy. That means buyers’ financing will move along faster, and closings can happen sooner. 

4. Year-end company bonuses, payouts, and relocation
The end of the calendar year often includes employer bonuses, employee retirement, and relocation opportunities. A potential home buyer who has just gotten a sizable bonus or retirement payout may be in a position to buy their first home or upgrade their living situation.

And just as the start of a school year creates a moving deadline for families with school-age children, a company relocation can create a different deadline for wintertime buyers. Waiting on spring is not always an option for a someone who has just accepted a new job. 

4. The cozy factor
There’s something to be said for a warm, welcoming home that invites potential buyers in from the cold where they can imagine their own family gathering to spend time together. If your home makes buyers feel physically good from the moment they walk in the door, you truly have the home-court advantage. And a well-winterized home will be an attractive element to an interested party.

The truth is, if your home is show-ready and your family is go-ready, there’s no need to delay until spring. Your dreams won’t won’t wait…and neither will the right buyer. 

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