Pros & Cons of Listing Your Home in the Winter
New Year, New Transitions
Winter can be a great time to sell your home. Just like with any season, there are pros and cons to selling your home in the winter.
If you’ve been contemplating whether you should sell your home now or wait until the ground thaws and a "For Sale" sign can actually be installed, consider these points.
Buyers mean business
Hands down there are more serious buyers in the winter season. With our winter weather, buyers that are actively touring properties are likely in need of a house and determined to buy. No one likes to pile on the layers and trudge through snow and freezing temps for the fun of it. Here's a tip: keep your thermostat up on days that your house is going to be shown, if buyers warm up quickly inside, this will instantly make them more comfortable.
Most year round residents will wait until spring or early summer to list their home. This means the housing inventory (for off-mountain homes) is much lower in the winter, leaving less competition for sellers.
Online house hunting is year-round
As Dave Ramsey says, “the internet has no seasons.” Since most people are busy preparing for the holidays in the winter, making sure your home has a good online presence is important. Most buyers will start their search online before in person. In fact, 93% of people use the internet in their home search, according to NAR.
More time off = more time for buying
With the the three-day weekends in January and school vacations in February and April, most buyers have a lot of vacation time during the first quarter of the New Year. Our vacation rentals are already booked solid for these weeks.
Buyers have limited budgets
As we begin a new year, a lot of people are tied up with other financial obligations such as traveling, paying taxes, and making sure their own houses and vehicles are winter-ready. This may cause a lot of buyers to not want to invest in a home at this time of year.
Sellers tend to find themselves with multiple offers in spring and summer when buyers have more competition and need to be quick to make offers. In the winter, it’s less likely that sellers will have multiple offers.
More likely to reduce asking price
If your house is priced inaccurately and has been sitting on the market for a while, you may need to drop the price before spring. If you wait until more homes come on the market, it may be even harder to sell at market value. If you start out at market value, you'll have a better chance of selling for a decent price.
Negative connotation about listing in winter
For all of the reasons above and more, selling your home in the winter doesn't have the best reputation and most buyers probably know this. Buyers may even think that winter sellers are desperate to sell, causing them to lowball their offers.