Dec 7, 2021 / Selling
5 Things To Know About Selling Your Home In The Winter
Have you been wondering whether or not selling your home in the winter is a good idea? From a real estate perspective, listing your home during any time of the year has its advantages and disadvantages, and the winter market is certainly no exception.
While some might urge you to wait and list in the spring, others might tell you the winter market is full of untapped potential. Ultimately, however, the decision is yours to make, and all you should focus on is understanding the pros and cons.
To help you form your own opinions about selling your home in the winter and help you decide on how you want to approach your upcoming sale, here are five things to know about listing in the winter.
1. The Market Is Slower
Traditionally, winter isn’t necessarily among the real estate market’s busiest of seasons. When it comes to the sheer amount of activity and transactions, those tend to happen during the spring or fall (if you follow the statistics).
However, that doesn’t mean the winter and summer markets don’t see any activity at all — they’re just generally a little bit slower. And it’s easy to understand why especially during the winter months.
Generally speaking, most homeowners and prospective buyers find that, during wintertime, most of their thoughts are preoccupied with things like the holiday season, taking vacations to warmer climates, and, well, keeping warm. House hunting and moving aren’t usually high up on the list of priorities for most during this time of year, which is why the winter real estate market tends to move noticeably slower.
Not sure whether selling your home or renting it out is the better option? We’ve covered everything you need to know about that on our post here: Is It Better To Sell Or Rent Your House?
2. Fewer Listings = Less Competition
While the market might be less populated with eager buyers during the winter (not necessarily advantageous for sellers), there is a silver lining. When selling your home in the winter, your listing will also face much less competition from other homes for sale.
Just as there are fewer buyers populating the market at this time of year, there are also fewer sellers listing their homes for sale too. That means those homes that are listed for sale have a greater share of the market and are more likely to receive greater attention from those who are looking to buy.
So, if you’re thinking about selling your home in the winter but aren’t sure if your listing will get the traction it needs in order to sell, the upside is that all you need to do for your home to head to the top of the food chain is to make sure it’s among the most appealing. While that’s certainly easier said than done, it’s also certainly much easier to do so when there are fewer listings competing with yours for the top spot.
When it comes to successfully selling your home, timing is everything. Get our insight on the best time to sell by reading our related article, Is Now The Right Time To Sell Your Home?
3. Hosting Showings Can Be Messy
Of course, along with winter comes the season’s messy weather, which is one of the main reasons why most prefer to wait out winter before taking on a move — and to a further extent, visiting any homes.
It’s extremely rare for a real estate transaction to be completed without a buyer visiting a home in person at some stage before the deal is complete. While non-local or international buyers sometimes do purchase properties based on photos, videos, and information online (in addition to their real estate agent’s best judgement, of course), that’s not a situation you should bank on when selling your home in the winter.
The only alternative is to host home showings and private visits from potential buyers throughout the winter, which can get pretty messy considering Ontario’s average amounts of snowfall and precipitation over the winter months.
While this shouldn’t completely deter you from selling your home in the winter, it’s definitely something for sellers to note, and there are a few things you can do to combat the mess. Mandatory shoe and coat removals are a start, as well as diligently cleaning areas near your front door and foyer too.
Ensure you receive top value from your home sale by preparing it for success before you list it on the market. Find out what you should do ahead of time here:
4. Buyers Tend To Be Serious
Although the messy winter weather and the generally lower levels of market activity aren’t necessarily ideal, we can once again find a silver lining to selling your home in the winter because of those conditions.
For the most part, we can tell that most buyers actively looking for homes in the winter tend to be more serious about purchasing a home. We call this ‘buyer intent’ in the industry, and it’s something you should pay close attention to when selling your home in the winter.
If a potential buyer is willing to brave the elements and come to visit your home when it’s far less than nice out, it’s most likely that this person has a greater degree of buyer intent. They’ll have done their homework about your listing, made time to book a showing, and will probably want to see your property more to identify any reasons why they shouldn’t buy it rather than be convinced why they should.
During the warmer months when it’s easy to waltz into an open house and it’s less inconvenient to attend a home showing, listings can attract higher numbers of casual, non-serious potential buyers. During the winter, however, these types of tire-kickers don’t really hang around much.
Does the winter market sound appealing to you? Learn more about The Advantages Of The Winter Real Estate Market here!
5. January New-Hires Are Great Buyers
Once January rolls around in winter, the month doesn’t only signify a new calendar year, but also a new fiscal year too. For many companies, the start of Q1 and the new annual budget plan typically means there are plenty of new hires relocating to their new company’s hometown.
Of course, this means that there will inevitably be many of those newly-hired residents starting their search for new homes to live in within the local area (if they haven’t already started their search before the new year, that is).
Similar to our point above, the new January hires don’t want to waste much time finding a place to live in their new city, especially if they’re relocating with their families. Trust us, there’s only so long you can put up living in a cramped hotel room or temporary rental with your whole family while searching for a more permanent place to live.
This means that come January, all of those new hires will be accompanied by a high level of buyer intent, and that’s a good thing if you’re planning on selling your home in the winter. Not only will this give you the edge in negotiations, but it will also result in a faster transaction.
Are you determined to sell your home in the near future? With our local real estate expertise on your side, we can help you earn the maximum value from your sale. Learn more about our approach to selling your home here:
Interested in learning more? Send us a message here and we’ll be in touch with you soon after.