Listing Homes in Winter

When is the best time to sell?

The Advantages of Winter Listings

It’s no secret that many people choose to move during the summer months. The kids are out of school, the weather is typically nicer, and there’s just a general feeling that it’s the right time to make a fresh start.

But if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you might want to reconsider this old tried-and-true timeline. In fact, there are a number of compelling reasons why listing your home during the fall or winter may be a better option.

For starters, there are typically fewer homes on the market during these times of year. This means that buyers will have less competition to contend with and may be more likely to make an offer on your home.

In addition, serious buyers are often more willing to look at homes during the fall and winter months. They know that there are fewer options available and may be more motivated to find their perfect home before the spring market picks up, and to get moved in since the external circumstances that are moving them (eg, a job transfer or changing financial circumstances) may not provide them with enough time to wait until Spring/Summer. So while there are less showings, we have found that the # of showings required to generate an offer can be lower during Winter months than Spring.

Finally, in a market characterized by very strong annual appreciation (10 to 20% per year), homeowners selling later in the year will often benefit prices appreciating throughout the earlier seasons in the year. For example, in a market appreciating at 15% per year, 123 Main Street could sell for $400,000 in April and 6 months later the same home could be worth $430,000. In other words, you could watch your neighbors sell their homes during Spring/Summer and sell your own home for even more as market appreciation continues through Fall/Winter.

The Downsides of Winter Sales

Of course, there are downsides to selling during the fall and winter as well. Severe weather conditions can make it difficult for buyers to get around due to adverse driving conditions. Cold snaps can also be hard on vacant homes; imagine having an empty home on the market for sale and a family comes to tour, but someone’s young child fiddles with the thermostat and turns the heat off. If the showing agent locks up and nobody notices that the home has now been left without heat, the cold can freeze & break water lines and cause significant property damage. A connected wi-fi thermostat could allow the property owner to verify the home’s temperatures and settings remotely, and is a great idea for a safeguarding your asset against this type of scenario.

If you’re willing to overcome a couple obstacles, listing your home during the fall or winter may be the best decision depending on your circumstances and whatever specific factors are motivating you to move. Give us a call to speak with a real estate specialist to find out more about timing your home’s sale and to hatch a plan for making your move a successful one. Profit from our experience navigating Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor real estate through its various market conditions.

Getting Ready to Sell?

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