The general school of thought — which often proves to be correct — is that spring is the best time for listing your home. But what if your house came on the market in late summer or early fall and didn’t yet sell? Should you take it off the market until spring, or hold out through cold weather, the holidays and fewer buyers? Will your listing get “stale” if you keep it on the market for too long?
These are all legitimate concerns, but consider these 5 statistics that may help with your decision:
1. Less inventory means your home gets more attention.
As you drive through your neighborhood, do you notice that there are fewer and fewer for sale signs – maybe none? These means buyers have fewer choices and your home will garner a lot more interest than when they market is saturated in the spring.
Buyers: More potential customers increase the possibility of a bidding war. You may even struggle to get an opportunity to make an offer, as houses are snatched off the market at record speed.
2. Job Relocations
Companies tend to place and/or relocate their workers during the first quarter of the new year. This means that every winter, there is an assured populace that’s looking for a new home, quickly. And good news for your asking price: This group often has some credited moving expenses to burn through.
3. No landscaping.
Listing your place in the spring or summer means keeping up the curb appeal. You will need sure your plants are fresh, potted plants look great, an take care of pruning and lawn maintenance. If landscaping is a selling point, it really has to be a showpiece in the spring, which takes time and money. (If landscaping is not a selling point, then it is less noticeable in winter when everyone’s house can look dreary.)
4. Avoiding the crowds
Overall, there are fewer buyers on the prowl during the winter months, but those are more focused and more motivated. But fewer showings means fewer people stomping through your home, tracking dirt and mud all over your carpets as they open your medicine cabinets and peek into your closets.
It also means fewer open houses, which can take hours of preparation and don’t always pay off. If you do, you’ll probably have more motivated visitors — there are very few window-shoppers during the cold-weather months.
Buyers: Realtors are eager to work with motivated buyers in the winter, and lenders have more time on their hands to process paperwork.
5. A faster home sale
It’s counterintuitive but true: Homes actually sell more quickly in the winter months, even in cold-weather cities. There’s no general consensus on exactly why this is true, although low inventory is quite likely a big part of it. Also? In winter, most people just don’t want to slog through showing after showing. Instead, they want the buying process to be over and done with, and so they’re more willing to pull the trigger.
Whether you are a seller or a buyer, the Whit Harvey Group is eager to work with you in any season!