Most wouldn’t consider – or even think about – “selling a house in winter”. It’s too cold. There aren’t many people buying. Plus, who wants to move in the middle of a snowstorm? Exactly.
But surprisingly, winter has the potential to be a great time to sell your home. Selling your home in the winter is underestimated. Let us explain The Benefits of Selling Your Home in the Winter.
1. Winter Buyers Are Serious and Motivated
The winter months filter out those wishy-washy-view-only prospects. You know those people. They might be interested, but they really aren’t sure. They don’t know what they want, so they’re just “looking,” You don’t get these people in the winter months.
Buyers in the winter months are serious, motivated, and ready to buy. Often, it’s because they have to. Maybe their current living situation abruptly changed or they had to move for a new job – whatever the case may be, they mean business. Their hunt for a new home is frequently urgent. They also may be pining after those tax breaks before the year ends.
2. January is Huge for Job Relocation
With the year-end comes a huge amount of people relocating for new jobs or positions. Consequently, they will need somewhere to live. Your home could be that place! Again, it comes back to more serious and motivated buyers. They need a place to live and are likely in some kind of temporary hotel room or housing until they find a place – which can be rough. They want to find a new home. And they likely want to find it as soon as possible.
3. Some Houses Show Better in the Winter
It’s true! If you aren’t great at keeping up with the summer maintenance of your yard, selling in the winter might be for you. With the snow, the only thing you have to worry about is shoveling and salting the driveway and walkways.
It’s further a great time to show off your heating system. Make your home look as cozy as possible. Show off how well it functions and how well it insulates during those cooler winter months. This will be a big bonus and big draw for potential buyers.
4. You’ll Get Closer to Your Asking Price
Again, these buyers are more serious and are more urgent – which increases your chances of getting closer to your asking price. There aren’t that many options out there. The market inventory is much less. People can’t take as many risks when putting in an offer. And you’re more likely to actually get an offer on your home – whereas, during the competitive summer months, you could go the whole season without a single offer. Not ideal.
5. Fewer Homes on the Market = Less Competition
There are fewer people selling homes in the winter. Most people prime their homes and get ready to sell in the summer. And in the summer, the market is saturated. Potential buyers have possibly 30 plus homes to choose from. Yet, in the winter months, they might have only 5. Fewer options mean you have less competition. In fact, the inventory of homes falls almost 20% in some places during the fall to winter transition. It bumps up your chances of selling (And again, you’re more likely to get that price you want for your house).
6. You’ll Be Your Real Estate Agent’s Top Priority
In the summer months, your real estate agent might be stretched thin. Maybe it’s tough getting an appointment or perhaps you just don’t feel like your home is getting enough attention. This isn’t a problem in the winter.
Winter is technically their slow season. Real estate agents are looking for homes to sell. This means they’ll want to sell yours in the winter. Come summer, they’ll be loaded down with a bunch of clients. Right now, you’re their top priority. You’ll get more attention – meaning your home will be listed in all the right places. And it will definitely be showcased the best and right way.
So, What Are Some Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter?
How can you make the most out of these winter benefits? We’ve got you!
Make Your Home Warm and Inviting – The outside is cold and a tad dreary most of the winter. The best way to show off your home is by making it cozy, warm, and welcoming. Make sure your home’s temperature is set to an ideal spot so that your potential buyers warm up as soon as they step inside.
If you have a fireplace, turn it on. If you have throw blankets or pillows, put them on display. It will make your home a welcoming sight when coming in from the cold outdoors.
Play Up the Natural Lighting
Winter means darker days – literally. There are fewer daylight hours. So, what do you do? Time your viewings and showings appropriately. Don’t have them scheduled any later than 4 in the afternoon. By 4:30, the sun is down and out. Another tip? Wash your windows before viewings. It can amp up the natural lighting in your home making it more appealing for potential buyers.
Don’t Forget to Shovel and Lay Down Salt – If someone coming to view your house slips on the way in, trust us – that’s likely all they will remember from your home. It’s not a great first impression, is it? Make sure to leave a spot by the door for them to take off their winter boots – rubber mats are great for this!
Clean, Clean, Clean! – Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up and de-personalize your house. There’s no bigger turn-off than a messy house. And putting away your personal items allows the potential buyer to imagine themselves living in the space.
Careful with Scents – You want your home to smell nice. Yet, you don’t want your potential buyers sneezing or turned off by the smell during the whole viewing. Go for fresh scents or light holidays scents. Also, if you’re going to make your home smell like freshly baked cookies, make sure you have some! This can score huge brownie points with some people.
So, go ahead – sell your home in the winter! You have nothing to lose. And it could really improve your chances of selling your home. You have less competition and more serious buyers. So why not? Talk to a local real estate agent in your area today for more info!
Here are some additional resources on Selling a House in Winter.
- How to Sell a Home in The Winter – Bill Gassett
- Five Reasons to Sell Your Home in the Winter – Karen Highland
- Best Winter Curb Appeal Ideas from 18 Professionals – Luke Skar
- Top Tips For Selling Your Home in Winter – Xavier De Buck
This post was contributed by Kurtis Forster. Kurtis is a real estate agent for Team Forster in London, Ontario, Canada. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate.