The Pros and Cons of Selling a House During the Winter

Just like the weather, the housing market tends to be stone cold during the winter months, making it a less than ideal time to sell a house in most parts of the country. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of waiting until the spring to put their home on the market. The good news: there are several benefits to selling a house during the winter. Though the market may be sluggish, your home is sure to get more attention from potential buyers who aren’t willing or able to wait until the warmer months to purchase a home. If you’re thinking of listing your house this winter, check out our pros and cons list below.

Pros

  1. Limited inventory means less competition

    During the wintertime, there are typically less houses for sale than during the spring or summer months. This narrows the home options for buyers, making it more likely that a buyer would seriously consider purchasing your home. After all, there’s less competition from other “for sale” homes, and limited options for buyers. When there are less homes for sale in your area, it also becomes easier to make your home stand out from the competition.

  2. Winter is a good time to highlight a home’s energy efficiency

    Is your home energy efficient? If so, selling during the cold months could be an excellent way to highlight some of your home’s big selling points. After all, every homebuyer is looking for ways to save money on energy bills. A winterized home that already has desirable energy efficient features will certainly make a good impression on potential homebuyers. Energy efficient features to highlight include smart thermostats, solar panels, quality window treatments, energy efficient dual-pane windows, new attic insulation, a newer HVAC system, recently cleaned air ducts and vents, and a tankless water heater.

  3. Buyers are typically more motivated

    Rarely do buyers go house hunting during the winter just for fun. After all, it’s cold outside. It’s unlikely that throwing an open house will attract casual buyers and nosy neighbors during the December to March period. While there may be less buyers during the winter, you can bet that the buyers who are around are actually more motivated. Perhaps they’re relocating for work purposes or perhaps they desperately need a larger home, whatever the reason – winter buyers tend to be more serious. This is good for sellers who are looking to sell their home quickly and for a good price.

  4. A more focused and motivated real estate agent

    With less listings during the winter months, you can bet that your Realtor will be more motivated to sell your home than they would be in the spring or summer months. In addition, they can devote more time to marketing and selling a house during the winter than they can during other parts of the year. If you want to have your Realtor’s undivided attention, we recommend listing during the winter months. 

Cons

  1. Will have to work harder to make home appealing to buyers

    There’s no doubt about it – curb appeal is typically lacking during the winter months. From dead trees and vegetation (not to mention, zero potted plants) to icy driveways and snowy yards, a home doesn’t usually look its best during cold months. Fortunately, there are things homeowners can do to improve curb appeal – it’s just going to take more time and effort than it otherwise would. Shoveling driveways, cranking up the heat, and fixing air leaks are just a few ways sellers can improve the appeal of a home. They’ll also need to make sure the home is safe for buyers by salting any icy and slippery walkways.

  2. Leaving the house for showings is harder

    Showing your home to potential buyers isn’t going to be easy during the winter. That’s because most homeowners are looking to leave their homes as little as possible when it’s freezing cold outside. Unlike during the spring or summer when you can simply go to a park or go for a walk outside while potential buyers look at the house, you’ll be confined to your car and/or you’ll need to find somewhere (preferably with heat) to stay during those last minute showings.

  3. Less likely to have a bidding war

    The housing market typically isn’t as hot as it is during the spring or summer months, which means there will likely be less buyers interested in your home. Less buyers means less of a chance that you’re going to receive multiple offers on your home. Without multiple buyers competing for your property, you may not get the highest price possible for the house. After all, more competition from buyers is always a good thing when it comes to selling your house.

  4. The kids are in school

    From after school activities to homework, there are going to be a lot of school-related obligations to deal with during the winter months. The kids will also have quite a few holidays off, meaning they’ll be home while you’re trying to show and sell the house. In addition, moving to a new home with school-age children in the middle of a busy school year isn’t necessarily ideal.

Article courtesy of moving.com

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