Should I List My Home in the Winter?
Updated: Dec 1, 2021
First of all, living in the mild Bay Area climate changes the perception of the real estate "season" considerably. Because we simply don't experience frigid weather conditions, buyers are "out and about" during all seasons of the year.
And here's what we know about the current market: Interest rates remain low and home prices remain high. If the timing is right for your to list your home, the market couldn't be much better. There are some mixed predictions about the 2022 real estate market, so for many people, taking advantage of a known market makes sense.
If you are wondering about selling a home during the winter, there are some advantages that may surprise you!
Selling a Home in Winter
The Internet Doesn’t Know its Winter!
Because 95% of home buyers use the internet as the starting point of a home search, the temperature outside is irrelevant.
And although spring is definitely the king of the home-buying season, serious home buyers are always on the prowl—checking out listings on their tablet just before bed or browsing listings during their in-law's holiday parties. The weather may be cool and holiday activities may occasionally take precedence, but home buyers will keep shopping with the internet at their fingertips.
Less Sellers Means Less Competition
Once spring arrives, homes will begin to saturate the market and your home will be competing with many others in the big real estate pond. During the winter, a serious buyer has less homes to choose from. This results in less competition for a seller which could actually result in a faster home sale at a great price.
Buyers Aren’t Fooling Around
Buyers that are willing to schedule around holiday plans and inclement weather are not just casually browsing. That’s because many winter buyers are working against a deadline, whether it’s a relocation, an expiring lease, or even a contract on their current home. In fact, many listing agents in our area report an increase in activity in early December as buyers consider their home-buying options.
A Little Extra Free Time
It’s wise to keep in mind that many people have more scheduled time off from a hectic work schedule during the winter holidays. This fact can swing in your favor as potential buyers are searching the internet and looking at potential homes while dreaming of future décor. It's a win-win for both buyers and sellers.
Don’t Forget the Tax Breaks
Many winter home buyers are motivated to capture the tax benefits of buying a home before year-end. Because home buyers can write off some the expenses of the home purchase from their taxes, Sellers may benefit from the year-end surge.
Tips for Selling in the Winter
If you decide to sell your home during the winter, remember a few things to get buyers in the mood:
Don’t Overdo the “Jolly.” If you’re selling around a holiday and have decorations up, make sure they don’t overpower or clutter a room. Less is more.
Cozy. If you have a fireplace, light it! Simmer some mulled cider on the stove and play some quiet holiday music in the background. Many Buyers are attracted to a "homey" property during the holidays.
Check those Outdoor Lights. Don’t leave potential Buyers stumbling around in the dark. Poor outdoor lighting is a huge turn-off and makes a bad first impression. Make sure your outdoor lighting is in good working condition.
Keep the Landscape Clean. Rake the leaves regularly and plant some cyclamen, pansies, mums or other cool-weather annuals for a spark of color
If you have questions about selling your home, I’d love to give you my perspective on your personal situation. Call anytime!