Pros & Cons of Listing Your Home in the Winter

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” to sell?

Despite homes being covered in snow and icy roads galore, winter is a great time to sell your home!  Or is it?  If you’ve been contemplating whether you should list your home now or wait until the snow melts away, we made a list of everything you should take into consideration.

PROS

Buyers mean business

While more total buyers are looking in the spring and summer, there are more serious buyers in the winter season.  If someone is making time to visit open houses and showings during the busiest time of the year (and the coldest time of the year), it’s safe to say that they are serious about their home search.

Less competition

Most people will wait until spring to list their home.  This means the housing inventory is much lower in the winter, leaving less competition for sellers.

Online house hunting is year-round

As Dave Ramsey says, “the internet has no seasons.”  Since most people would rather be cozied up on the couch in the winter, making sure your home has a good online presence is very important. Most buyers will start their search online before in person.  In fact, 93% of people use the internet in their home search, according to NAR.

More time off = more time for buying

You might think that being the busiest time of the year, people would be too busy to stop by and look at your house.  But, people tend to take extra time off work around the holidays, leaving more time to search for their new home!  The three-day weekends in January are also popular for open houses and showings.  

CONS

Curb appeal is limited

When the sun sets at 4 PM and your beautiful lawn is covered by snow, it’s a lot harder to show off your home’s exterior.  Although you can dress up your home with festive decor, you can’t show off all of the hard work you’ve put into your curb appeal.

Buyers have limited budgets

As we wrap up the end of the year, a lot of people are tied up with other financial obligations such as holiday gifts and traveling, paying taxes, and making sure their own houses and vehicles are winter-ready.  This may cause a lot of buyers to avoid such a large investment at this time of year.

Fewer offers for less

Sellers tend to find themselves with multiple offers in spring and summer, when buyers have more competition and need to be quick to make offers.  In the winter, it’s less likely that sellers will have multiple offers.  Buyers may even think that winter sellers are desperate for any offer at all, causing them to lowball their offers.

“Show-ready” means more effort

To keep your home show-ready during the winter, you’ll need to minimize the amount of snow and slush people bring through the door.  If your home is often in a state of mild chaos during the winter months with wrapping supplies and holiday baking, you’ll need to keep that in mind.  You’ll also need to be extra attentive to keeping the driveway and sidewalks shovelled and safe for potential buyers coming and going from your home. 

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