As the weather gets colder and the thought of snow approaches, sellers start questioning whether they should take their home off the market. The common belief is that spring and summer are the best seasons to sell. As we know, there is a flood of homes to hit the market in the spring when buyers are out and about. As a seller if you decide to take your home off the market or wait until spring to sell your home, you are making a BIG mistake. Here are seven reasons why to keep your home on the market in the winter…
1. The buyers are serious.
Yes, there are fewer buyers in the winter; although, buyers that are out and looking are likely to be serious buyers. It’s not fun to look at homes when the temperatures are below zero and you’re battling snow, slush and ice.
2. Relocation, it’s that time of year.
Often when companies are making their year-end decisions to include promotions, personal changes and relocation opportunities. These buyers are serious and motivated, often these are high salary individuals looking at high priced “exceptional” executive type homes. In our market place, homes valued above $500,000+ will often be purchase by buyers relocating into jobs during winter months.
3. A blanket of snow.
Some homes will sell better with a blanket of snow covering the grounds. Why is this? For instance, let us imagine a home with poor landscaping, patches of missing grass, curling shingles, next to a busy high traffic road or near a railroad… We could continue but I feel you get the idea. When it’s below zero or the presence of three to five feet of snow covering the ground a buyer doesn’t spend much time outside during their showing. (Please note if the roof is defective, it should be disclosed to the buyer regardless if it’s visual to them or not.)
4. If not now, when?
Homes won’t sell if they are not on the market and if you take the home off the market when do you plan to put it back on the market? In the spring? Would you agree there are many sellers who are waiting to do the same thing? There are. When they do, the competition in the spring for buyers is fierce.
5. Economics 101: Supply and Demand.
If you can remember back to your economics class, low supply will mean more demand. So when supply is low, choices for buyers are few, meaning increase pressure to pay more for the product. This would suggest your offer could be better in winter months than the offer you might receive during the high spring competition. Often the discount on price during negotiation is less.
6. What about the holidays and showings?
The main concern for sellers who are considering taking their home off the market during the winter months often is emotionally tied to not having buyers walk through their house during the holidays. I can understand this, in our market place the local MLS (multiple listing service) allows sellers to change the status of their home from Active to TNAS (temporary not available for showings). TNAS allows the seller not to incur any “days on market” while it is in that status. It is my suggestion that during Thanksgiving from Nov. 23-25, during Christmas from Dec. 22-27, and over the New Year from Dec. 31-Jan. 2, if you choose to avoid any showings have your home unavailable during those days. If you don’t have a TNAS function, just decline the showings, but beware often times those are the same days that buyers have “off” or are relocation buyers and they are out looking at homes.
7. The Internet changed the game!
According to recent statistics from National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers search homes online. This means they are searching during the holidays, after dinner, on vacation sitting on a beach, at night while it’s dark, in-doors while it is freezing outside, and on mobile devices while driving through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Keep your home on the market during the winter because buyers are still buying.
The truth is, if you want to sell your home, it needs to be on the market during the winter months. The houses on the market in the winter, on average are…
A. Likely to sell…
B. Sell quickly… and
C. Seller sees less discount on price
NOTE: based on information from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, for the year 2012 for a sales area of 13 county metro. The months of November (7%), December (6%), January (6%) and February (7%) accounts for 26% of all sales for the year. Seller who keep their home on the market during the winter months increase their odds of selling substantially.
Jay Fletch, is a Real Estate Broker with Edina Realty Inc. and J. Fletch Real Estate Group, LLC in the St. Croix Valley covering both Washington County, MN and St. Croix County, WI. He can be reached directly at 715-760-1189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional real estate blogs, tips, advice and suggestions www.jfletchrealestate.com. Copyright 10/27/14