Every real estate agents tell you that any season is the right season to buy or sell your home, and that’s true, even in a winter when real estate market can be quite lucrative.
There are several great reasons not ignore a winter a market, whether you are a buyer or a seller and several great strategies to help improve your chances of a successful sale or great purchase.
IN A WINTER REAL ESTATE MARKET… buyers generally aren’t tire kicking
Winter buyers are motivated. Chances are they are looking for a home now because they have to, whether it’s a job location or this is the only time they can buy. I think you’ll find winter buyers are serious about their purchases.
As a seller, you have the advantage of attracting buyers who aren’t restricted by school districts or neighbourhoods. They tend to be truly committed to finding the right home, traveling several miles after work in a dark and cold winter.
IN A WINTER REAL ESTATE MARKET… industry professionals answer your calls immediately
It’s easier during the winter months to hire a contractor to finish off that last bit of flooring, get a home inspection done almost immediately or connect with other real estate agents. In fact, most agents have fewer clients and therefore more time to dedicate to you.
You may even find banks and other lenders more accessible and quicker at providing assistance. In some cases, you see lower costs on services such as movers – because you are willing to move during the winter.
A WINTER REAL ESTATE MARKET CAN MEAN… lower inventory and less competition
True, spring and summer are the most active real estate seasons. Traditionally there are fewer listings during the winter but there is also a high volume of buyers. Your home could quickly become a hot commodity particularly if it has desirable features. .
At the same time buyers also have definite advantages. A buyer may be successful in offering a lower than asking price, or ask for perks such as the light fixtures. With fewer buyers, there is less likely to be bidding wars and you may actually get time to think about your decision.
A WINTER REAL ESTATE MARKET HOME VISIT… allows you to test a home’s winter fitness
When you enter a prospective home during the winter you really can see how it will hold-up during extreme weather. This is a buyer’s time to see if there are any really cold rooms, check for drafts, the HVAC system, and check out the lighting.
A WINTER REAL ESTATE MARKET… presents some listing challenges
If you decide to list your home there are some unique challenges around showing your home.
- Light-Up Your Home: During the winter there is less natural light to highlight a home’s features. Additional light fixtures for showings will make your home appear warm and friendly. Don’t dispense with the holiday decorations, but make sure they are tasteful, modest and not personalized.
- Fresh scents are important: Because of the cooler outdoor temperatures, airing out homes during the winter is almost impossible. Sellers can improve the smell of their home by adding fresh cut flowers or particular natural scents, without going overboard.
- Keep the walkways clear: Certainly there is less landscaping but your driveway and walkways need to remain shoveled and salted. And since the landscaping is hidden, consider adding summer photos of your home that highlight the landscaping in your listing photos.
Whether you want to buy a new home or sell the one you currently own, don’t think you have to wait until spring!
Karen Paul & Associates | Real Estate
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