Listing your house in the winter could lead to more cash in your pocket

Teddy Runge
Teddy Runge
Published on March 23, 2018

Have you heard that it’s better to wait until the spring to sell your home? Well, is it? Some people say that selling a home in the spring is a better bet. Aspens in full effect, green grass and sunny skies make homes look their best, the theory says, making spring the ideal season to list your house for sale. But is this actually true?

Nope!  It’s not always true at all.  There are some solid reasons why listing your house in the winter, rather than waiting for spring, can actually make you more money. Of course everyone’s situation is different, and a real estate agent in your area can give you the best seasonal advice, but here are 5 things to consider when deciding when to list your home for sale.  (Truckee/Tahoe sellers, I can help you consider all factors and create a time line for listing your home.)

1. Listing your house in the winter can mean less competition

This is the biggest and best reason for listing your house in the winter, there’s usually less inventory on the housing market.  In effect, this means that your home has an even better chance of attracting attention, as there will be fewer listings in your price range. Wouldn’t you rather be the only home for sale on your street, than have three of your neighbors also selling at the same time?

{READ} Savvy Sellers – rewarded for listing in the winter, have taken advantage of laughably low inventory  

2. Motivated Buyers

You’ve gotta be pretty committed to bundle up and go look at houses before the thaw. The other thing about selling before spring is that packing up and moving in the winter can be challenging.

These objections to house hunting mean that the people who have just looked at your home mean business. Motivated buyers are likely pre-approved for a mortgage and know just what they want – so you could be more likely to have showings turn into serious offers.

Another fact: did you know that winter is when many companies do corporate relocations? Someone who is being moved because of a job needs a home now, not in three months during the typical spring listing season. Similarly, families with kids typically move over summer break, so those who are moving in the middle of the year are assumably on a timeline as well.

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3. Loans may be processed quicker

Typically, housing inventory is generally smaller during the winter, making lenders less slammed. So when your buyers enter a contract, financing could be ready to go that much faster, and listing your house in the winter could lead to a quicker close.

4. Listing your house in the winter could lead to selling faster and for more money

Redfin looked at home sale data and found some supporting stats. Contrary to conventional wisdom, homes listed for sale in the winter sold quicker (by about a  week), were 9% more likely to sell within 6 months, and sold for 1.1% higher price.  Wintertime sellers, this is good news.

5. Take advantage of seasonal traveling and winter decor

In Truckee, and many other vacation destinations, winter is one of the most populated times to visit the area – second only to 4th of July.  Take advantage of that, people are at leisure and may love to pop into an open house to warm up.

Keep it cozy!!  If your home has been winterized, the heat should be set to 62 at minimum, so that buyers aren’t wanting to escape back to the warmth of their cars.  Invest in some heavy throws and  pillows with a heavy pattern for staging ideas.  If you’re selling your house in the winter, you should be thinking of winter vignettes: Stacked firewood, cocoa mugs by an outdoor firepit, and mittens hung by the fire, all tell the story of how your home can be utilized in the colder months.  

There are obviously many unique factors that go into the decision of when to list your home for sale, but if you are considering listing your house in the winter, (or circumstances have forced you into listing your house in the winter), you should keep these tips in mind as you weigh the plus and minus side of bringing your home to the market now versus waiting until the spring.

You may want to check out a similar post:  Need to Sell your Home? It’s all about the Marketing

Do you live in Truckee? If you’re thinking about listing your home, please contact me, I’d love to help you get top dollar for your property.

How much is your Truckee home worth?
Find out today.