Most real estate agents will tell you the busiest times for selling and buying homes is in the spring and fall. (And they would be right.) What they may not be telling you, however, is that the winter can also be an excellent time to sell your home! While the sheer volume of activity has dipped, especially in seasonal areas like Cape Cod and the South Shore, the ratio of 'serious' buyers out there looking for a home has increased!
Here are 6 reasons why selling your home in the winter is a smart move.
1. BUYERS ARE JUST AS SERIOUS AS YOU ARE
Let’s face it: people love to ‘window shop’ homes that come on the market in their area. People want to get a peek inside their neighbor’s homes, see what is available, and consider their prospects in the current real estate climate. While it is true that there are more buyers in general, serious or otherwise, in peak months, you also see a major increase in ‘casual buyers’ just looking around during peak seasons like spring and fall. This is not the case in the Winter months. While you may have less traffic at your open houses while it is chilly outside, those buyers who do brave the artic tundra are *SERIOUS* about finding the right home, and finding it now.
2. CORPORATE RELOCATION PEAKS AFTER THE NEW YEAR
The busiest times for corporate relocation is January & February which means there is a whole group of buyers looking for a home in the winter, and who are highly motivated with time restraints. Workers looking to relocate will typically have a limited amount of time to uproot their families and generally won't have the luxury of spending a lot of time looking at properties just for fun. Kids need to get settled into school, and dealing with selling their old home can add another level of urgency and stress. It is likely that once these motivated buyers they find a home that meets their requirements, they will be ready to sign on the dotted line and get the ball rolling. Their move is your gain.
3. LOWER INVENTORY MEANS LESS COMPETITION
It's simple economics people. The lower the supply, the higher the demand! You are in a unique position when you list in the winter months because you are competing with fewer properties. While much of the inventory will be leftovers from busier seasons, yours will stand out as 'fresh meat' in a market that has plateaued with familiar stock. The reality for those buyers who must find a home during this season is that while inventory is lower, they will have to concede to home characteristics they may have passed over while their options were greater. Winter buyers often can't afford to be as picky.
4. IT'S YEAR END BONUS AND RETIREMENT PAY OUT TIME
For anyone who has ever received a nice year end bonus at work, you know that this time of year offers greater opportunity for some professionals to seek out investments in real estate or make the move they have been waiting for. The same can be said for retirement payouts that often occur at years end. Your home might be the perfect fit for these buyers and you will want to make your property available to them before everyone lists in the spring.
5. SEPTEMBER'S BABY BOOM MEANS WINTER UPGRADES
Fun fact: September is statistically the highest birth month in the US. That's right, every fall there is a mini baby boom across the country, and these growing families may be looking to upgrade and expand to accomodate their growing families in the winter months after welcoming a new little one!
6. MORE ATTENTION FROM AGENTS
That's right. It's no secret, the winter months are the slowest months for real estate professionals. In the winter, agents have fewer listings and sellers are able to enjoy more of their agents undivided attention. The same goes for buyers agents, who will often have more time to arrange showings, expand buyer tours, and negotiate deals on behalf of their clients.
The world doesn't shut down just because the temperature drops. The same can be said of the real estate market on Cape Cod! If you are sitting on a home that you want to sell until the weather warms up you may want to reconsider and get ahead of the pack. Reach out for a market analysis of your home today, and start writing your next home chapter in time to enjoy the spring.