While many homeowners assume that spring or summer is the ideal time of year to list their home for sale, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, there are many good reasons why listing a property during the winter months is the best overall strategy.
Here are the top 5 reasons to list your home during the cold season instead of amid spring flowers or in the balmy summertime:
1. There Is Less Competition
Contrary to popular opinion, the real “sweet spot” for home sales is in the dead of winter. The reason is obvious – there is less competition on the market, which puts the seller at an advantage due to the regular laws of supply and demand.
With fewer homes to choose from, the hard fact is that buyers can’t afford to be as “picky” if they plan to buy during the winter months. That’s why the best time to list a home is (arguably) from November through January and especially during December.
2. You Get Only Serious Buyers
Think about it. If someone is motivated enough to go about shopping for a new home in cold weather. Packing up and moving during the winter is not much fun either, nor is working around a busy holiday schedule. Thus, winter buyers are almost always “serious” buyers who won’t waste your time and who come prepared.
3. Selling Prices Are Higher
The above-mentioned factors lead naturally to wintertime home sales prices tending to be higher than in the spring or summer. On average, homes sell for 1% more this time of year. That may not sound like much, but 1% of a $300,000 home is $3,000 cash in your hand.
4. Selling Times Are Shorter
Need to sell your house fast? Homes listed in the winter tend to sell a week or more sooner than otherwise. That is unsurprising, given that buyers are serious and maybe on a fixed time table. What it means for the seller is less wait time, the possibility to sell your house fast, less stressing over “what if it doesn’t sell,” and getting into your new home quicker!
5. Financing Processes Quicker
Bankers are less busy in the winter as well, which also works to your advantage. It is easier for people to get pre-approved for a mortgage and to obtain financing faster. The bottom line is that everything just moves faster in a smaller seasonal market.