While winter is not the best time to sell a property, life doesn’t stop when the temperature drops. There are several situations, from growing families, to professional challenges, to unexpected events that can require people to buy or sell a property. If you’re unsure whether to put your property on the market now or wait until spring, consider the pros and cons of selling in the winter.
As most people put their property on the market in the spring — which is pretty much the best time to sell — there are typically less homes for sale during the colder months. This narrows down the options for buyers, so properties for sale during winter get more showings and interest. Less competition makes it easier for your property to stand out.
A quicker transaction
With less competition, the whole process of selling your property can be faster in the winter. As everyone is less busy during this time of the year — lenders process fewer loans, inspectors have fewer inspections — the home-selling process can end up being quicker than you’d normally expect.
Winter buyers are generally more motivated
As the weather is cold and moody, buyers don’t normally go house hunting in the winter just for fun. They likely need a new place to live relatively quickly — because of a relocation or an unexpected event in their life. While there may be less buyers in the winter, the ones that are looking are generally more motivated, serious, and keen to find a place quickly.
More attentive agents
As spring, summer, and fall are extremely busy seasons for real estate agents, this leaves them with not an awful lot to do in the winter. This means that agents generally have more time during the off season, and they will be more motivated to sell your home. They can also devote more time to marketing, showings, and selling your property.
Better deals with contractors
Before selling your property, you may want to do a few minor upgrades or repairs. As contractors are busy during the warmer months, it’s generally more difficult to find somebody trustworthy then. As winter is their slow season, you may be able to find a vendor quicker and perhaps even negotiate better rates.
The weather is not on your side
The weather is the biggest drawback of winter home selling. The cold and the snow can make house hunting an arduous chore for buyers instead of it being a nice and exciting experience. Viewers may also track in snow and mud, which means more cleaning in-between showings.
Curb appeal is challenging
With everything brown and grey in winter, properties usually don’t look their best during the colder months. This means that curb appeal is typically lacking at this time of the year. While it might not be as easy to create a good first impression for your buyers as it is during the summer, letting them find shelter and warm up at your cozy property will enhance their experience. Make sure to crank up the heat, shovel the snow, and think of offering visitors a hot drink.
Buyers may have more negotiating power
Fewer buyers also means less of a chance that you’re going to get multiple offers on your property. This means that you may not end up getting the best price possible for your property as if you don’t have multiple offers to choose from, you may have to accept a lower price in the end.
Buyers have more financial obligations
For many people, the end of the year means extra expenses. A tighter budget and the bad weather together may also make people more reluctant to move this time of the year. Some people may also be waiting to utilize their tax return. On the other hand, as we mentioned before, if buyers have to move quickly because of a relocation for instance, they will need a property regardless.
Some flaws may be more apparent
If your property is dark, drafty, or leaky, these flaws will show themselves more obviously during the colder months. Think of these and carry out some minor repairs and make your property look its best for showings.
If you are looking for a broker to sell your property during winter, reach out to us and get a free home estimate.