It is a general belief that the hustling and bustling spring real estate market provides the best time to sell. Sunny skies, blooming flowers, and green grass may add beauty to listing pictures, but is it worth waiting until spring? Maybe not.
There are many reasons why listing in winter can be a very smart option. Every situation is different, but here are a few things to consider when planning to list your home.
1. Less Competition
Due to the perception of the spring buyer frenzy, fewer people list in winter. There is a greater chance of your home standing out. Instead of being one home of five for sale in your neighborhood, yours might be the only one. Also, a smaller inventory creates a sense of urgency for the buyer.
2. Motivated Buyers
Generally, people bundling up to go view homes in the winter need to select one and move. Choosing to work around holidays, travel, and guests to come and view your home are indications that you have a potential home buyer and not a home shopper. You will likely avoid wasting your time with showings for people who "are planning to buy in the next year," or "getting a feel for what's out there," and "figuring out what we want."
Companies tend to make corporate relocation effective in January. Anyone being moved for a job doesn't typically have the luxury of shopping around for three months. You will typically get an offer in fewer showings in these cases.
As a seller, it isn't easy to constantly leave your home and make it available for showings. Limiting your inconvenience to serious buyers only can create a much more pleasant selling experience.
3. Loans may be processed more quickly
When the housing inventory is smaller, lenders tend to be less busy. When all the behind the scene financing details are completed without interruption, everyone can make it to closing much more quickly and easily. I can't tell you how many times I've had to re-list homes because the financing fell through for the buyer. It is typically a result of some paperwork slipping through some crack on the lender end. A smooth transaction with lenders will dramatically improve your selling experience, and ensure you get your money.
If you're faced with the decision to list your home in the winter or wait for spring, give careful consideration for all the different factors involved. A professional real estate agent can provide all the data to help with the decision. In the case that you are left without a choice, please put your mind at ease and consider these factors. Listing a home for sale in winter can be a very smart option for sellers.