There are a lot of reasons that buying or selling a home in winter makes sense. Even though conventional wisdom states that buying or selling a home is best left to spring or fall, statistics don’t necessarily support those seasons as having the most tangible benefits for home selling or buying.
Statistics show that homes listed during winter months are actually nine percent more likely to sell. They also sell one week faster in the winter and for an average of 1.2 percent more.
Winter and cold weather has a tendency to weed out the less than serious buyers. Many winter buyers have more of a sense of urgency – for example, job relocations are not dictated by seasonal considerations.
Many homes look their best during winter months. There can be little doubt that during the holidays, decorating is at its peak, especially if you live on Christmas Lane.
Sellers need to do a few things differently during winter months to assure a positive impression upon potential buyers.
Because winter months are darker with shorter days, steps need to be taken to be sure your home is as light and appealing as possible. This means opening shades and turning on additional lights. A well-lit home comes across as more inviting and engaging.
Even if you are selling during the winter, you should be sure to have professional photographs of the home during other times of year available for prospects to see. Be sure to include your garden, freshly mowed lawn, blue skies and outdoor activities.
There isn’t as much competition for time during the cold winter months. Sellers should, however, be familiar with football schedules. In Kenosha, for example, it wouldn’t make much sense to schedule an Open House during any Packer or Bear game.
Sellers should also be sure to keep outdoor areas free of ice and snow. Be sure to brush the snow off your real estate sign as well. Have shoe covers available at the door for prospects to slip on as they enter your home.
If your furnace needs a tune-up, be sure to get that done prior to listing. Nothing will turn a possible buyer off faster than a furnace that sounds like a 1958 Edsel in need of a new muffler when it kicks in.
Fresh baked goods add warm, inviting aromas to your home on a cold winter day. Take advantage of that and bake some cookies before your showing or open house.
People often believe that spring home buying will allow them to schedule the move in early summer when school gets out. The fact of the matter is that many home transactions take several months. Sometime there are contingencies in the offer that require sale of another property or other things that draw out the process. Because of that, getting a head start in the winter months can often still facilitate that early summer move you desire, so by 4th of July you’re all moved in and ready to host a housewarming!
There are advantages to home buyers shopping when it’s cold outside as well.
Because there are fewer buyers, that means more leverage for those who continue looking. As a result, you can count on homes being priced more aggressively. Fewer buyers also means less chance of multiple offers on a house you desire.
It is easier to gauge a home’s “winter fitness” by shopping in December, January, February or March. You can see how well the neighbor’s walks are cleaned and if the streets are well-plowed.
So if you are selling a home, or are interested in buying one, there is no good reason to hold off on that process until spring. Winter offers some distinct advantages for those who forge ahead despite the cold and buying or selling a home in winter can be well worth it.
To get a head start on your competitors, contact Swan & Associates-Re/Max Elite today.