Why You May Want To Sell Your Home in the Winter
Everyone knows that the most popular times to list and sell your home is in the late spring and early summer. The warm weather offers numerous benefits to home sellers and home buyers alike. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wait till next summer to list and sell your home! In fact, winter could turn out to be an even better time to sell your home. You may stand to gain more if you decide to sell your home in the winter, so it would be wise to consider this option.
But, what does this colder season have to offer you? Is the winter the right time to list your property or would be better to wait until the spring? We wanted to clear the air and provide some insights to the pros and cons of selling your home in the winter. Remember to take all of these factors into consideration as you make your decision.
Reasons To Sell Your Home In The Winter
Homebuyers Are More Serious
It’s true that the majority of homebuyers in Colorado wait until the spring to start touring homes and visiting open houses. However, the most serious home buyers come out in the snowy months of the year. Why is that the case? Just think about this scenario from a logistical standpoint.
Winter in Colorado is nothing short of cold. The days are shorter with less sunlight and the roads tend to be consistently icy. If buyers are still willing to brave these conditions during these busier winter months, you can rest assured knowing that they are far more serious about purchasing your home. This means you might sell your home even faster in the cold winter of Colorado.
Fewer Competitors In Your Area
As we mentioned earlier, late spring and early summer are the most popular times to list and sell homes. In fact, the real estate inventory of Denver increases by approximately 2,000 homes between January and April. This means you’ll have far fewer sellers to compete with when you decide to sell your home in the winter. And when there’s less competition, you’ll have a better chance of selling your home for the max ROI.
Capitalize On Online House Hunters
In our digital-centric society, potential home buyers can look at listings virtually whenever they want. As it turns out, approximately 93% of all home buyers leverage online websites to start out their home search. Is there a better time to look at homes than when you’re curled up on the couch during a snowy winter day? When you list your home in the winter, it’s highly likely that even more potential home buyers will look at your listing than at other times of the year.
Holidays + Vacation Time = More Time For Buying
Arguably one of the best reasons to sell your home in the winter is the fact that home buyers have plenty of time off. The holiday season gives prospective home buyers plenty of time to tour homes and visit open houses. In addition, it’s estimated that approximately 23% of all Americans prefer to take vacations and use their PTO during the winter. This means more buyers will use their off time wisely during the winter to tour prospective homes, meet with their agents, and submit offers on properties.
What You Must Consider About A Winter Home Sale
While there are many advantages to selling your home in the winter, this colder season comes with some downsides. Make sure you carefully weigh the following considerations before you make your final decision.
Your Curb Appeal May Not Be Appealing
The cycle of the seasons can have negative impacts on the exterior aesthetic of your property. Your trees won’t have leaves, your plants won’t look vibrant, and your beautiful landscape will be covered by snow. Combine those qualities with poor sunlight and shorter days, and you’ll find it’s much harder to make your home’s exterior look attractive to buyers during the winter. Festive lights and decorative wreaths can help amplify the curb appeal of your property, but they won’t completely solve the problem.
Winter Buyers Have Smaller Budgets
Those snowier and colder months come with plenty of seasonal expenses. Between holiday shopping, ski trips, travel costs, and tax season, buyers will have to say goodbye to a lot of their spending budget during the winter. These seasonal costs may eat away at buyers' home buying funds, which means they may not have the financial capital to invest in your property right now. This issue can contribute to the next critical factor.
Less Offers With Lower Prices
This is where the competitive aspect of the real estate market comes into play. When buyers have more competition, they’ll be more eager to make speedy offers that will roughly match the listing price. Homes that are listed in the spring in summer will often receive multiple offers in a short span of time due to that increased competition.
In the wintertime, the situation is a little different. Since there is less competition between buyers, you may receive only a handful of offers. And buyers tend to believe that winter sellers are desperate, so those prospective buyers will submit lower prices in their offers. Of course, you should wait for the right offer to come along. Unfortunately, it might take a little bit of time for that offer to roll in.
A "Show-Ready" Will Be Harder To Maintain
As any home seller knows, your property needs to be ready to show on a moment’s notice. Buyers may abruptly decide to book a showing of your home for the same day, and your home needs to be ready for that. A Colorado winter will always bring tons of snow down from the mountains. Your family and prospective home buyers will track a lot of that snow into your home throughout a given week.
This means you’ll have a lot more work to do to keep your property in a “show-ready” mode all the time. You’ll most likely need to clean your floors every few days and you’ll need to keep a very tidy house, even during the holidays. You’ll also need to keep the sidewalks, front porch, and driveways clear of snow and debris throughout the entire home selling process. Clearly you’ll have your work cut out for yourself.