It’s the classic question. When is the best time to list your house to sell it fast?
Now, we all know that the spring selling season is hot. You have mint-green new grass and spring flowers calling to buyers from the road. Everything is fresh.
Winter is a much more drab time of the year for curb appeal. Depending on where you live, it’s also full of icy road conditions and dead grass. The time change makes the days shorter, so that happy sunshine is tougher to utilize to show your home in the best light.
So, should you just give up? Do you just assume that all the buyers are holed up under blankets with hot chocolate and a good book?
Absolutely not! I can say this from personal experience. We bought our first home in December and barely moved in before Christmas. One of the first moving boxes I opened contained our Christmas tree! We were buyers braving the cold to find our dream home.
It’s people like us looking to buy your home now that should cause you to rethink waiting to list until spring.
Actually, if you change your mindset away from the traditional viewpoint about this time of the year, you will find the winter season can be a hot time to sell your home. Here’s a few reasons why you may actually have a better outcome listing your home in the dead of winter.
We live in an era of access anytime, anywhere. Thanks to today’s tech, buyers are always looking at houses. They have phone apps sites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia right at their fingertips giving them new listings.
They also have additional promptings from plenty of agents hungry for a commission who are more than happy to send them new options. If they see a house they like, they will happily bundle up and brave the cold to go check it out.
There’s also something very welcoming about a crackling fireplace when you walk into a home that just makes you feel like you belong. You want to stay! That’s a powerful emotional feeling to use to your advantage when your main purpose is to help your potential buyers see themselves living in your house.
The market may slow during the winter, but it is still humming along well enough to sell your home. Buyers don’t stop looking, so don’t stop listing! In fact, the idea that many sellers still assume winter is a bad time to list gives you yet another huge advantage.
When fewer sellers list homes, but buyers are still looking, this creates a seller’s market. Instead of going with traditional thought and being a part of the huge flood of homes hitting the market in the spring, why not list ahead of the trend?
The more homes on the market and the more options buyers have, the more they tend to spread out. If you want to get top dollar for your home, you may find a lot more interest from those winter buyers less distracted by too many options.
Consider listing your home in mid January, even if you may not have the ability to move until the spring. If you find someone who falls in love with your home and is willing to go under contract and give you a longer closing period, they may not mind waiting a few months before they can move in.
The holidays are often the main time when families get together. This can spark discussions on inheritance, money and home ownership. Also, let’s not forget the Christmas money! Opportunities can arise from these table talks that bring about change, and change can mean signed contracts.
Additionally, people often take a good, hard look at their finances at the end of the year. They may have been given hefty year-end bonuses that can cover closing costs. They may review their taxes and discover they will get a big refund that can be utilized as a down payment on a house.
Many New Year’s resolutions including buying a new home, and buyers aren’t going to let a little snow stop them from jumping right into the market.
Companies also make personnel shifts in January. People may be informed that they are getting a promotion or transferring to a different job with higher pay starting in the new year. A lot of companies have additional money to make hiring decisions because they start their new fiscal year, and that can bring better salary opportunities. Better-paying jobs mean more buying power with banks, which can translate into qualified buyers with more purchasing power.
Like many of you, we have the unique perspective of putting up the Christmas tree in rental houses and also in homes we own. I can tell you from personal experience that the holidays don’t quite feel the same in a rental.
Many people feel the same way, and the holidays put a magnifying glass over the fact that they aren’t happy renting. After the Christmas chaos is over, all the wrapping paper is thrown away and the tree is taken down, those renters will be driving neighborhoods and checking online so they don’t have to spend another Christmas in their landlord’s property.
So, don’t miss that influx of buyers because you ascribe to the traditional thinking that daffodils and green grass are vital to selling your house. If you’re still worried about it, just find some pretty spring pictures that you took in the past to show buyers the many faces the seasons bring out in your home.
We are personally gearing up for the January season, and plan to start shopping for great properties. Deals happen when you put yourself out there. Why wait for spring?
Will you join us?