You tell me, what is better, selling in the winter or waiting until spring? That’s a highly debatable question and one that can be very personal. The circumstances for each are as unique as each house. Today, I’d like to take some time to discuss the pros & cons of each.
Since it IS January, we will start with reasons to not list your home in the winter. Based on popular belief, winter sales are the slowest of the year. The holidays…I have heard it time and time again…who wants to have to worry about keeping the house “show ready” in the midst of all the holiday celebrations. Curb appeal…how can one see that beautiful grass if it’s buried under snow? Days are shorter and houses may appear darker. Then there’s the appearance of the desperation factor; some buyers wrongly assume that any seller who is trying to sell during the winter months MUST be desperate and feel justified in bringing that low ball offer. Some fear that this will drive property values down. Let me present to you the flip side of this debate…if someone is looking to buy during the winter, you are usually dealing with motivated & anxious buyers. It could be that they need to relocate ASAP for job reasons. There’s also truth in the saying that you have less competition. Think about it…most people believe that spring is the best time to sell so many homes hit the market during that time. As I write this, there is less than 2 months of inventory available. There are people who want & need to buy; why not take advantage of the limited inventory & potentially get closer to your asking price? And if you’ve already moved into another home, why take the house off of the market when you could potentially sell it now and save yourself from having to pay two mortgages?
That takes me to spring…flowers are blooming, grass is greener…now’s the time to list, right? Traditionally, many families have opted to wait until the spring/summer so as to not disrupt their child’s school year. There are also typically more houses on the market for buyers to choose from, making it a buyers market. I must mention that nationally, homes sell faster in the spring.
My conclusion is that winter is the best time to sell; if you are planning to list in the winter, here a few tips to maximize your selling potential.
- Clear the snow and ice away from the walkways. Luckily, we don’t have to do that very often here in Wake Forest.
- Make it cozy. Turn that fireplace on if you have one and strategically place cozy blankets; light some scented candles.
- Clean your windows. Winter can often be dreary looking and you want your house to feel as bright as possible. Make those windows sparkle and open the drapes & blinds.
- Repair your outside lights; the days are shorter and some showings may occur after dark. You don’t want that prospective buyer missing any detail!
Buyers are out there and they are looking, if you are thinking of selling, now is the time for us to talk!