Is selling your home during the winter months a good idea??
This is one of the most common questions we hear this time of year – and for good reason! Minnesota winters are notorious for being cold, long, snowy and did I mention cold?? In reality, moving into a new house in the winter probably isn’t high on your to-do list. But SHOULD it be? Here are the pros and cons of selling your home in the winter:
1. Even though the market slows down, there are still buyers out there. And from personal experience I can tell you the buyers who are braving the cold (ahem, I mean freezing) weather to go in and out of houses seem to be a lot more motivated and determined to find a home. So while you might see less showings than you might if you waited until spring to put your house on the market, the buyers that do look at your house in the winter are likely a wee bit more serious than the average “spring buyer.”
2. There is less competition. Duh. We already established that selling your house in the winter months isn’t ideal but you need to determine if that is more of a comfort thing or if the market really won’t support the price you want for your home. If we can see that comps in your neighborhood will still support a strong selling price, maybe it’s time to put your comfort aside for a little bit and get your house on the market while the competition is lying low waiting for the snow to melt.
3. There’s a lot of holidays in the winter. People take vacations days from work to celebrate holidays. People who are on vacation from work can spend more time looking for homes. Enough said 🙂
4. Every minute your house is not on the market is another minute that a potential buyer is settling for something else.
5. The spring market can be CRAZY! (See number 5 below) The first 10 days you are on the market in the spring market, you will possibly never be allowed to eat a meal in your house or get to bed at a decent hour because there are constantly buyers traipsing through your house. Selling in the winter will allow you a much more relaxing experience with less back to back showings and more time for you to enjoy your last month or two of being in your home!
1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s cold. If your house sells (yay!) now it will be your turn to tromp through mounds of snow to go look at houses.
2. If you sell your house in the winter, now you have to buy a new house in the winter. Meaning you will have less inventory to choose from and thus may not get your dream home as it might not be on the market until spring.
3. You decided to list your house and it doesn’t sell. The snow melts, the grass turns green and hooray, spring is finally here! The bummer though is that your house just accumulated a lot of days on the market and to us experienced agents, we know that is not a good thing. Of course we can always cancel the current listing and re-list it again in the spring market but any agent with half a brain knows to check the listing history to see what the story is.
4. Holidays. People spend money during the holidays so house hunting and spending money on the single largest investment of their life might not be a top priority until they’ve put a dent in paying off their Christmas debt.
5. The spring market is CRAZY! (See number 5 above) You could put your house on the market on a Monday morning and have multiple offers by 5pm the same day. Since the spring market can be so crazy busy, you could see more showing activity thus producing an offer much quicker than you might if you sell in the winter months. So is it more important to you that your house sells quickly? Or that you have a good and relaxing experience? Only you can truly make that decision.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to trying to sell your house in the winter and I honestly cannot give a yes or no answer without knowing more about each sellers individual situation. I could also go on and on with more pros and cons…there are just endless scenarios! There is a common misconception that buyers expect to pay less for homes in the winter but are willing to pay more for the same home in the spring market…this is simply untrue. If you are motivated and are considering selling your home, it certainly doesn’t hurt to at least chat with me about selling so we can determine together if selling your home this winter should be something you consider or if waiting until spring is your best option.
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