You’ve got plans to sell your home, but as you approach the end of the year, waiting until Spring seems like torture. The house is already prepped, and you’re eyeing a new house you’d like to buy. So why wait?
You don’t have to. Spring may be the strongest home-selling season, but that doesn’t mean selling your home at any other time of year is impossible, even in the chilly winter months.
In fact, we’ve consistently had some of our best months in real estate over the Winter months, so the idea that it’s tough to sell this time of year is a myth.
There is some seasonality to real estate, of course – many buyers who don’t feel the urgency may put off house hunting until after the holidays. That’s why it’s important to price your home realistically. The Winter months aren’t the time to test the market and see how high of an offer you can get, but rather to price it correctly and attract the right buyer looking for a home like yours.
Read on for our top 6 reasons Winter is a great time to sell…
1. Low inventory = less competition
Since spring is the most popular home-selling season, the housing market is ultra-crowded with options at that time of year. And if you paid attention during Econ 101, you understand the law of supply and demand.
Most sellers still think they need to sell in the spring, but that means there is more competition for buyers’ attention.
But in the winter, there are fewer homes for sale. That competition over low inventory can make winter an ideal time to sell your home.
In the Sacramento area February through April often commands the highest sales prices and lowest days on market. This means home sellers listed their homes in December through March.
2. You get to show your home’s winter-readiness
Selling in the winter also gives you the opportunity to show that a home is designed to handle the harsh elements. Of course in our area, that means that a solid roof, good gutters, and excellent drainage around and under the home are important.
Plus, during winter months, homes with features like fireplaces and hot tubs are certainly more appealing.
3. New parents may be looking to upgrade
The baby boom in September may lead to more buyers later in the year. According to data from the Center for Health Statistics and the Social Security Administration, there are more birthdays in the month of September than any other time of the year. Therefore, there’s likely to be a crop of growing families looking to buy a larger house.
4. Winter brings out the serious buyers
News flash: Not everyone looking at houses intends to make a purchase. Some people are contemplating moving and may just want to see what’s on the market. Since more homes tend to go on the market in Spring and Smmer, this is also when window shoppers are likely to be out looking.
However, these looky-loos tend to be scarce during winter months. When we work with home buyers in November through February, they’re real buyers looking to make a purchase. They have a serious motivation to find the right home and get settled.
We’ve also noticed that the same trend applies to the open houses we host – we may have fewer people through the door, but they are serious buyers typically already pre-approved for a loan and ready to go.
5. Year-end financial bonuses and payouts
As a seller, year-end performance reviews could mean that more people have money to spend on a home.
End-of-year financial bonuses or workers retiring with large payouts could mean opportunities for these buyers to upgrade their living situations or for first-time buyers to enter the housing market. And don’t forget about tax time – people start receiving their tax returns as early as February and are eager to apply the funds toward a down payment.
6. Corporate relocation
You could also encounter buyers who are relocating for a job.
One of the biggest months for corporate relocation is January/February, so those buyers, who need to move quickly, are out in full force looking for new homes.
Relocators typically have a limited amount of time to uproot their families and, as a result, don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time looking at properties. The kids need to get settled into school, and dealing with selling their old home can add another level of urgency and stress. So it’s likely that once they find a home that meets their requirements, these buyers will be ready to sign on the dotted line.
A couple additional reasons Winter is a great time to sell your home…
Spring is just a few months away. If you can’t find a buyer during the Winter months, Spring is bound to bring plenty of eager homebuyers to the market. As long as you make sure the house stays staged for buyers and looks fresh as the weather warms up, people who haven’t seen your listing yet will want to view all their options.
You’ll get a realistic sense of listing price. As you’re prepping to put your home on the market in Winter, you’ll probably see other nearby houses on the market as well, and they’re likely priced in line or slightly below recent sales to ensure they attract the right buyers. Follow their lead and market your home at the price it’s worth based on recent sales of comparable properties. The Winter home-selling season is not the time to get ambitious with prices, it’s time to be realistic.
Are you ready to make your move? We can answer all your questions about selling and buying homes any time of year. Call us today – 530-350-6335