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Should You List Your Home In The Winter?

IMG_0770“Should we wait until spring to list our home?” I hear this question all the time, and it is a very reasonable concern. Conventional wisdom says to at least wait until the ball drops in Times Square, but I tend to disagree.

Traditionally, April has been my best sales month…and it makes a great deal of sense. Being The Jersey Shore Specialist, a large percentage of my clientele are 2nd-home buyers. These clients are buying homes close to the beach and they want to be in their houses in time for the start of summer. The 2nd-home buyers also may want to wait to buy until it gets closer to summer, so that they are not paying for a home for months before they will probably start to get use out of it. Additionally, I get the primary-home buyers around this time that want to be in their homes before school starts.

However, you might be surprised to find out that my next best sales months – year after year – have always been December into January, and this year has proven to be no different. This is the reason I would tell you to put your house on the market when you are ready – especially if you are ready when so many others are putting it off.

Let’s examine some of the advantages of listing your home during the winter season:

  1. Less Competition. While so many others will be waiting until spring to list, you will have less inventory to compete with. Less inventory means your home has a better chance of standing out. And, reduced inventory typically means higher prices.
  2. More Motivated Buyers. There are less buyers shopping for a home in the off-season, but these buyers tend to be more serious. There are many more “lookers” in the springtime, but many tend to be just that…lookers. So, you will be showing your home less often in the off-season (which will put less strain on your family), AND the people who are looking at your house will be more likely to be in a position to present an offer.
  3.  Emotional Purchase. Winter weather makes buyers start to pine for anything that reminds them of warmer days…what better to do that than a look at the beach. Emotional buyers will be more apt to pay a higher price.
  4.  It’s Summer-Rental Time. The holidays are over and people are booking their summer vacations. Wouldn’t you like to be the smart one to have your home listed when some of these renters decide that it’s more advantageous to buy than to pay the high rental fees?
  5. Economy. The economy is on the upswing and mortgage rates are at an all-time low. There are many more buyers out their now than there have been at this time of year in the past several years. With more buyers and less inventory for them to choose from??? Well, I’m sure I don’t have to educate you on the laws of supply and demand.

So, do you list your house in the winter? I say, whenever you are ready is the right time to sell. Price it right and hire the right realtor, and it will sell no matter what the time of year. But, listing your home in the off-season can provide many advantages to getting your house sold faster and at a higher price.