While spring and summer have proven to be peak seasons for real estate, the winter season also has advantages for homeowners who need to sell. While you should probably tone down your holiday decorations while your home is on the market, if you follow these tips, you’ll soon be moving into your new home.
Pros to selling your home during the winter holidays
There are positive attributes to selling your home during the winter holidays that you may not be able to take advantage of at other times of the year.
Less competition. Most homes get listed for sale in the summer and spring, making the winter the perfect time to sell your home if you want to avoid a competitive housing market. If your home has a few flaws or is not renovated, you’ll have less competition from other sellers with fewer homes on the market.
Motivated buyers. People looking to buy a home in the winter often do so because of a sudden change in their lifestyles, such as job relocation, a change in finances, or a family complication. Buyers with these circumstances may be more motivated to close the deal quickly.
Agents have more time for their home sellers. Real estate agents and buyer’s agents tend to have their hands full with clients in the warmer months. Agents do not have as many clients during the winter holidays, allowing you to gain their undivided attention on the sale of your home.
Homebuyers have time off from work. Many people work through the summer and take time off during the winter holidays. Plenty of free time from prospective homebuyers in the winter can make for a great turnout at your open houses and showings.
Cons to selling your home during the winter holidays
It is important to be aware of the challenges that come with selling your home during the winter holidays so you can prepare effectively.
Fewer offers. You may not get as many offers on your home from buyers as you would during other parts of the year due to fewer individuals looking to buy a home in the winter.
Lower offers. Because you are selling in the winter, buyers may assume you are in a rush to sell your home. Buyers may offer an amount below the listing price, assuming that you will accept without any negotiation. Listing your home with an experienced real estate agent who can pull recent comparison sales will enable you to price your home competitively and confidently respond to offers.
Harder to keep your home looking at its best. In many parts of the country, winter can bring harsh weather that may prevent your home from looking its best. While your house is on the market, remove snow from the driveway and paths to enter your home and remove excess leaves from the yard and gutters. Protect the inside of your home by placing a doormat for prospective buyers to use and providing disposable booties for their shoes. It’s not unreasonable to ask for shoes to be removed if you have carpet. Placing a coat rack at the entrance will enable prospective buyers to feel comfortable viewing your home.
Home flaws can be more noticeable. Showing your home in colder months can bring attention to minor imperfections, such as poor lighting, room temperature, or drafty windows and doors. Before an open house, turn up the heat, open curtains to let in natural light, or ask a home stager to improve the inside lighting.