We often think of spring and summer when we think of home buying and selling. Additionally, we assume that selling a home is hard in the winter because of the thin market and fewer buyers.
Research goes against the idea that winter is a bad time to sell, however. A report from Redfin from a couple of years ago found that homes listed during winter months are about 9% more likely to sell, and then sell for about 1.2% more. Not only that, but they sell about one week faster.
Here are some of the reasons Greg Jaeger, vice president at USAA Bank, believes that selling your home during the winter can make sense:
1. Less Competition
First of all, you are going up against less competition when you sell during the winter. With fewer homes on the market, buyers have to be content with what’s available to some degree. “You can price more aggressively since you’re typically dealing with more serious buyers,” says Jaeger.
While it’s true that many buyers are out there in the winter months looking for good deals, it’s also true that there are some advantages that go to sellers. If you don’t have to sell immediately, you have time to wait for the right buyer — which might be someone who is tired of looking at the slim pickings and is willing to snap up your attractive home.
2. More Attention for Your Listing
One of the best reasons to sell your home during the winter, says Jaeger, is that you will get more attention for your listing from a real estate agent. If you decide to use a real estate agent, it’s hard to get him or her to give your listing special attention during the summer months. “Real estate agents, lenders, and home inspectors are maxed out due to the flood of home sales,” Jaeger points out. “But during the winter months, you’re more likely to receive better customer service.”
This isn’t just about the way a real estate agent can spend more time pushing your listing, either. You’re more likely to close faster during the winter because it’s easier to schedule a timely home inspection, and it’s easier to get the buyer’s loan application processed. The whole situation is easier to deal with during the winter when the load is smaller.
3. Lower Associated Costs
Finally, everyone has the potential to win with lower costs associated with moving and home ownership. According to Jaeger, you are more likely to get better prices on roofing repairs, window replacement, and air conditioner maintenance during the colder months. On top of that, moving companies charge as much as 30% less during winter as compared to the peak moving season.
Even if you don’t get quite as much as you would like for your home, you might be able to make up for some of it with lower costs in other related areas. With the right approach, winter doesn’t have to be a bad time to sell your home. You might even come out ahead.