Five Reasons to List Your Home for Sale in Winter
Conventional wisdom encourages home sellers to hold off during the winter season and wait until spring blooms before listing a house for sale. After all, people have more time to look for houses and properties look more attractive in the summer, right?
Not necessarily, research says. Here is why there are some definite advantages to listing, negotiating and buying in the winter.
1. Modern house hunters search online
Unlike in decades gone by, nine out of ten people today search for properties online in the comfort of their own homes. Modern online listings are extensive, often with interactive virtual tours and video*, making it much easier for a buyer to get the information they need and make an educated initial assessment of a property without ever having to drive or make an appointment to visit it in person. Since the way people look at properties has changed, time of year, weather, or location play a much smaller role in house hunting than ever before.
*Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties is one of the very few Catskills region real estate companies to feature virtual tours. View an example here.
2. Catskills are in
An area-specific advantage to the Catskills: there has been a huge surge of interest in the region, especially from the metropolitan New York area, to look for a second home or to relocate entirely to the Catskills. The Catskills are just a 2-3-hour drive from the city, surrounded by astonishing natural beauty as well as a booming artisan, restaurant and lodging scene. Major publications regularly feature the area as a top destination for travel and lifestyle. People have their eyes on the Catskills; they are mobile, and always looking. There is no such thing as a dead listing season for the Catskills.
3. Houses sell for more
Research says if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance on average than if you list any time from June through November. Listing during the winter months produces a higher percentage of above-asking-price sales than listing during any other months other than April and May. Based on their data, December listings in the year 2012 produced the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year.
From the buyer’s viewpoint, they may see sellers as more flexible and willing to negotiate during the perceived quieter season than in the spring or summer. When a potential buyer feels like the seller doesn’t have as many options, they may be more likely to approach the seller about a property. Also, both buyers and sellers alike feel real estate agents may be more available to them and have more time to focus on their needs than during the busy months.
5. Less competition
Since most people don’t understand the advantages of listing your house for sale on winter, there is less competition. When a motivated buyer comes along, the chances of a sale are much higher thanks to other sellers hibernating. A house can’t be bought if it’s nowhere to be seen. Less inventory translates to more attention to each listing.
Things to keep in mind
- Spring and summer photos of properties in lush surroundings do look more attractive in listings. If you’re thinking about selling your house but aren’t sure when you’ll end up listing, it’s a good idea to take summer photos in advance.
- Keep up the yard work. Rake your leaves, shovel your snow. Curb appeal matters around the year.
- Maintain your house for the weather, making sure insulation and heating systems are functioning. If you have a showing on a cold day, you’ll want your house to be nice and warm.
- Make sure there is good light. Dark, dingy homes are not attractive. This is especially important in the darker seasons. If necessary, buy extra floor lamps to bring light in.
- Keep seasonal holiday decor to a minimum when showing your house to avoid distracting elements. You’ll want to show the holiday spirit, but stage tastefully.
- Highlight any seasonal benefits of your home: a cozy fireplace for a winter day, or a finished basement for kids to play in when it’s freezing outside.
- With less vegetation obstructing views in the winter, it is easier for a buyer to visualize how your property is situated in relation to your neighbors. If your property offers privacy, make sure to point it out.
List to sell now
We want to help you sell your home or property, and we will be there for you every step of the way. Here’s why working with Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties is your best choice.