The Myth of Winter Home Sales
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
Many homeowners view the season of Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day as a “dead zone” in real estate – a frigid, dark season when homes don’t sell. Ideally, most want to sell in the spring, when their flowers are in bloom, the grass is lush and green, and home buyers are eagerly visiting open houses and swiping through new listings in their real estate app.
While it’s true that frozen temperatures and slushy, snowy streets can deter some buyers from heading out for a day of touring listed homes, it’s important to know that winter can be a great time of the year to sell a home. Here’s why:
1) Winter buyers are serious buyers. Those who are looking to purchase a home during the winter months usually have a strong reason to do so. This is different than summer buyers, who might swing through several open houses on a Saturday “just for fun”. Winter buyers have to bundle up, view houses after dark, tour homes through cold rain and snow, and imagine the garden as it will be in several months. They are on a mission, and often with a deadline. Winter buyers are less likely to waste your time, are more decisive in their offers, and are more focused on closing the transaction.
2) Inventory is lower in the winter. For the same reason that buyers want to list their homes when their home’s curb appeal is as its best, new listings drop off significantly between November and February, and then rise again during the warmer spring months. Fewer new listings mean less competition for your home, which is a good thing. Local brokers can provide current listing and sales data to confirm the current inventory in your community.
3) “Cozy and warm” are great selling points. Imagine arriving at a listed home in the middle of a cold January. Inside, you are immediately greeted by a warm, well-lit living space, with the gas fireplace flickering in the living room, scented pine cones in a basket nearby, and a well-functioning furnace keeping the whole house a cozy temperature. This can be just as appealing to a home buyer as the blooming rhododendrons and sunshine in April, if not more.
Buyers purchase homes all year, and at SASH we have seen many homes sell quickly, and even with multiple offers, in the dead of winter. Create a great first impression to potential buyers, keep the apple cider scents at the ready, and know that your winter buyers are more focused on getting the sale done.
©SASH Realty by Rebecca Bomann, Designated Broker, SRES®
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