8 Great Reasons to Sell Your Home This Winter
People don’t buy homes in the winter, do they? This is a common misconception. While most real estate teams will tell you selling your house in the spring is the best time to strike (on average), you shouldn’t discount the winter months, either. Depending on where you live, December through March can serve up some pretty nasty weather, but don’t let this discourage you. Winter homebuyers are out there looking and the specialists at Amy Stockberger Real Estate (ASRE) are here with eight great reasons to sell your home this winter.
It’s true, selling your home during the winter months can present its fair share of challenges—especially if you live in the Midwest or anywhere up North. Things like cold, wind, snow, and ice can make even the easiest, daily activity seem like a chore. Here are some potential roadblocks you could meet along the way if you decide to sell your house this winter:
- The winter months can make it much harder to showcase your home's exterior, landscaping, foliage, and any other outdoor selling-points.
- Fewer daylight hours and cold winds can expose any shortcomings your home might have, such as draftiness, lack of natural light, and leaky windows that need to be replaced.
- You may not receive the same volume or quality of offers that you'd get during the spring and summer. Some homebuyers, thinking that it's difficult to sell just because it's winter, might try to undercut your asking price.
- Winter is ripe with bank holidays and vacation time, which could delay financing efforts on the homebuyer's end, in turn delaying the home-buying process.
Now that we’ve addressed a few of the potential challenges, let’s dive into the advantages of selling your home during the winter.
1. Ready to Buy
The winter months tend to bring out motivated buyers. Think about it: When the weather is cold and snowy, you tend to limit your outdoor activity, right? This will reduce (if not eliminate) the window shoppers who aren’t ready to buy yet. Oftentimes, a winter homebuyer is being faced with relocation or expiring lease, creating a sense of urgency.
2. Less Competition
As we previously mentioned, fewer homebuyers during the winter can equal fewer opportunities for multiple offers. However, there is also less inventory during the winter months, which means less competition from other sellers.
3. The Internet
It’s no secret that most homebuyers start their search for a new house online, no matter if it’s 85 degrees and sunny or snowy and -10 with the windchill. The Internet has no offseason and winter home sellers should take full advantage of this aspect. Work with a trusted real estate team like ASRE to ensure the best, possible listing, and consider using tools like professional photography and virtual showings for an extra advantage.
The winter holiday season can be busy, but it’s also the time of year when people are using up their vacation time (or PTO). They have more time to browse online listings, research the market, and schedule home showings. Remember, most winter homebuyers are highly motivated, so make the most of this opportunity to generate interest in your house.
5. Year-end Bonuses
Just as the holiday season can offer homebuyers extra time off, December can also bring year-end commissions and/or holiday bonuses. These financial windfalls could mean more money to spend on a home.
6. Tax Benefits
Speaking of the end of the year, did you know that buyers who purchase a home before year’s end not only can write off certain expenses, but they also stand to benefit from multiple tax breaks? Generally, a homeowner can take advantage of the following tax deductions:
- Real Estate Taxes
- Mortgage Interest
- Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Premiums
As we stated before, winter homebuyers are highly motivated and this financial gain is just another reason why. Plus, if you’re buying and selling a home at the same time you too could be eligible for tax benefits.
7. Winter Friendly
Again, we’ve discussed how winter weather can hamper your ability to feature some of the exterior characteristics of your home, but this is also an opportune time to show that your house can withstand the winter elements. Tell potential buyers about your new roof or furnace and spotlight things like a fireplace (added warmth), short driveway (less shoveling), heat tape on the north side of the roof (prevent snow accumulation), or south-facing driveway (quicker ice and snow melting).
8. Growing Families
According to a recent article in Reader’s Digest, September is the most popular birth month, which means new parents and growing families might be looking for more space come wintertime. After parents bring home their newborn and get settled in, they may realize their apartment or smaller home is too crowded.
- Laurie Tidemann