Should You List Your Home in Winter, or Wait Until Spring?
We’ve all seen the buzz of homebuying activity every time spring comes around. Signs pop up on lawns in the Finger Lakes region announcing that a house is for sale, and real estate agents are busy showing prospective homebuyers houses in their price range.
But when you are ready to make a move, should you wait until spring to list your home, or should you list it right now?
There is no doubt that there are some advantages to waiting for warmer weather in the spring. You are likely to see more buyers, especially families who want to be settled into their new home in time for the new school year in September and people who want to enjoy all the activities of the Finger Lakes region in pleasant summer months.
Your home will have more curb appeal to make a good first impression when the grass is green, trees start to leaf out and shrubbery displays new growth. Days are longer, giving you more time to show your home in daylight, and buyers can enjoy good weather for making their move.
But if you know you want to put your house on the market, it may be better to list now rather than wait until the spring. You may have heard the expression “there is no time like the present,” and that statement can certainly apply to selling your home.
While spring is the traditional time to put your home up on the market, there are plenty of advantages to selling in the winter and listing your home for sale right now instead of waiting several months until spring.
As a seller you probably know that home prices are up, historically speaking. The pandemic created a situation where limited supply and pent up demand drove prices higher, contributing to inflation. The Federal Reserve Board stepped in to curb inflation by raising interest rates, which affects mortgage rates.
Homebuyers are aware that mortgage rates are currently rising, and some are ready to buy now rather than wait for the possibility of another interest rate hike. With rising mortgage rates, listing sooner may be better than delaying and listing later when some buyers may be priced out of the market.
Less competition is another key reason why people decide to list their home for sale in winter. In the winter, a buyer’s choices are limited since most people wait until spring to put their home on the market. Fewer homes for sale will mean less competition for you and limited options for homebuyers. If there are fewer homes on the market you have a better chance to make your home stand out, and the limited supply can translate into a higher selling price.
Having limited options available means that buyers are likely be less picky. They may be more willing to overlook small defects and maintenance issues in your home. Some sellers want to sell their home “as-is,” meaning that they do not want to make repairs or improvements before the closing. If you are an as-is seller you are likely to find it easier to find a buyer in winter since there are fewer homes on the market.
If you list your home in winter you will attract buyers who are usually more serious about buying. While in the spring and summer season you can attract more lookers, nosy neighbors and casual buyers, people who take the time to look for a new home in the winter are typically motivated buyers who are ready to close a deal quickly in the colder months from November through March.
Buyers who look in winter may not notice the imperfections in your landscaping when trees are bare and snow covers the lawn. And even if they do, they are likely to pay less attention to aspects of landscaping you weren’t able to get to before the cold weather set in.
Selling quickly in the winter means that you will spend less time maintaining your home in top condition to prepare for showings. You will also limit the inconvenience of opening your home to buyers over a longer stretch of time in the spring. With fewer homes on the market in winter your real estate agent will be able to feature your home and make it stand out in comparison to other homes currently on the market.
Listing Your Home for Sale
When you decide to sell your home in the Finger Lakes region, count on Kelli Ide to give you the information you need and help you make smart decisions. Kelli will guide you in timing your listing and pricing your home to sell. Kelli knows the local real estate market and she can give you a Comparative Market Analysis to analyze the real estate trends in the area.
When you decide to put your home on the market, Kelli will give you a unique, concierge-style approach to real estate, including staging, photo styling and market preparation services exclusively for clients to give you an edge over the competition.
For further information about buying or selling a home in New York's beautiful Finger Lake region, visit kelliide.com.