Learn why the winter may be the best time for home selling in this U.S. News & World Report article by Devon Thorsby. Spring and summer are traditionally the busiest seasons for home buying, which leads to a lot of stressful competition. Now that the market has settled down, it is actually a great time to put your home on the market for the right homebuyers who are already looking.
You’ve got plans to sell your home, but as you approach the year, waiting until spring seams like tortures. The house is already prepped, and you’re eyeing a new house you’d like to buy. So why wait?
You don’t have to. Spring may be the strongest home-selling season, but that doesn’t mean selling your home at any other time of year is impossible, even in the chilly winter months.
In fact, selling your home in the winter is getting easier in many parts of the U.S. The median listing price nationwide in February was $274,900, a 10 percent increase from February 2017, according to real estate information company realtor.com.
As housing markets continue to struggle for enough inventory to meet buyer demand and prices continue to rise, serious homebuyers are widening their scope and choosing to shop throughout the year, not just during the warmer months.
“It’s a misnomer that the market doesn’t pick up until late spring,” says Gretchen Rosenberg, president and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate in Denver and a member of the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. She says the Denver area doesn’t see much of a slowdown in winter, and sale prices often hit their peak in winter and early spring – during February, March and April.
As a seller, you can benefit from selling your home during winter rather than having to wait until spring. Lou Nimkoff, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association in Orlando, Florida, even recommends putting your home on the market before the end of the year.
“If you’re going to want to sell it in the spring, it’s a good idea to put it on the market in November and December,” he says, because you don’t want to miss out on the right buyer who’s already looking.
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve can be tricky for just about any industry other than retail, but even when time constraints mean selling as soon as possible is necessary, there’s no such thing as an impossible time of year to sell. “I’ve sold a house once on Christmas Eve and once on New Year’s Eve,” Rosenberg says.
If you do have options, Rosenberg recommends putting your house on the market either by the first couple of weeks of November or waiting until mid-January.
New Year’s resolutions help many homebuyers get into the house-hunting groove after the first of the year. If you like the idea of marketing your home at the start of 2019, reach out to real estate agents now to be sure you’re making all the right preparations to draw winter homebuyers to your property. That includes maintaining curb appeal to ensure you won’t discover any maintenance disasters during snowfall, such as a leak in the roof or frozen plumbing that causes pipes to burst.