Spring has historically been the “real estate selling season” in most people’s minds. Many home owners believe it is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. There are, however, advantages to selling during the winter months; here are five reasons to sell your home in winter.
Why it’s a Good Time to Sell Your Home in Winter
1. Only Serious Buyers Are Out
At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered by the casual ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
There are also buyers who begin their home search in the winter and early spring, hoping to “get a jump” on the market. Although every year is different, the inventory is typically tight during those winter and early spring months, meaning…
2. There Is Less Competition for Home Sellers
Housing supply always decreases at this time of year. This year the number of distressed properties being liquidated by the banks (in the form of foreclosures & short sales) have slowed to a trickle in Frederick Md. However, for those buyers looking for a non-distressed property, the choices will be limited. If your home is on the market when the inventory is tight, you’re at an advantage.
A caveat: You’ll still want to make sure your home is in it’s best condition. Today’s buyers are savvy and the majority are looking for move-in ready. When they see too many flaws, the offer price starts to decline.
Are you questioning whether its a good idea to sell your home during the holidays? Yes, it might be inconvenient, but selling a home is always inconvenient, no matter what time of year. Buyers who are looking during the holidays are often on a deadline. These are not tire-kickers.
And to top it off, your holiday home staging can be a lot of fun!
3. The Process Can Be Quicker
With fewer home sales taking place during the winter, the length of time it takes from getting a contract to closing can be shorter. The winter is traditionally slower for real estate sales, which is in itself an advantage for a seller.
The other benefit of selling a home in the winter months – everyone has time for you. Real estate agents have more time for you. Home improvement contractors are not as busy and are usually more responsive. Lenders have more time for buyers, so their process is smoother and so is yours. Winter real estate markets typically have a more relaxed pace in general.
4. This is a Great Time to Move-Up
If you want to move up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 10 to 12% from now to 2020. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.
5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is waiting for an expectation more important than being with family? Is holding to an earlier plan more important than your health? Is waiting for any preconceived reason more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You probably already know the answers to the questions we’ve just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home properly for your market, to guarantee it sells. Only you can decide if the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the next phase of your life.
If your reasons for selling are compelling, don’t let the common myths and misunderstandings keep you from getting to your goals. Whatever the time of year, people successfully buy and sell homes. Your long-term goals can be achieved, no matter the season.
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Five reasons to sell your home in winter was written by Chris and Karen Highland, Frederick Maryland real estate agents, serving buyers and sellers in Frederick County and surrounding counties of Montgomery, Howard, Carroll and Washington.