When do I sell? When do I buy? Do I sell my home in the winter or am I better off waiting until the spring? Will I get a better deal if I buy a home in the winter? These are the primary timing questions I get as winter approaches. My answer is always the same. List your home when you are ready to sell, and purchase a home when you are ready to buy.
There are always people looking to buy and people looking to sell. And, there can be some major advantages to both buying and selling in the winter. Let’s examine…
Supply and Demand. We are all familiar with the economic law of supply and demand. This equation holds true for both buying and selling in the winter. Inventory typically remains lower in the winter and so do the number of qualified buyers.
For sellers, lower inventory means less competition, and hence, greater demand for the homes that are on the market. And, while it is true that there are less buyers looking for homes in the winter, the buyers that are out looking for homes in the winter tend to be more serious buyers. Many springtime buyers are simply lookers.
For buyers, fewer people looking for homes to purchase in the winter equals less competition for available properties. This leaves buyers with a better chance of obtaining the house they want without ending up in the dreaded bidding war game.
Motivation. For sellers, buyers looking in the winter tend to be more motivated to buy. Perhaps they are relocating for a job. Or, their end-of-year-bonus is going to kick in and they will have the necessary cash to put down now. Statistically, the majority of American births occur in September. Now that baby has arrived, it might be just the time to settle in a bigger space. Waiting until spring to list your home will eliminate all of the serious buyers who are going to buy something in the winter.
For buyers, sellers listing their homes in the winter tend to be more motivated to sell than those putting their homes on the market in spring. Many who list in the spring put their houses on the market just to “test the waters”. They are not always so eager to sell. Winter home sellers usually have a good reason to sell and might be more apt to negotiate.
Look and Feel. When buying a house at the Jersey Shore, it’s easy to fall in love with a home in the spring and summer. You get to see the home at its very best. But, if you find that perfect home in the winter? Imagine how awesome it will be in the summer. Sure, the pool cover is on and you can’t get the full effect of the sun glistening off its water. But, to watch snow falling on the jetty from outside your sliding glass doors? There’s nothing quite so serene.
In conclusion, the answer to “when is the right time for me to buy or sell a home” is actually quite a simple one. Anytime you are ready is the right time! So, go ahead. Buy that Jersey Shore home in the winter. By the time Memorial Day Weekend rolls around, you’ll be all set up and ready for your first outdoor bash.
And, don’t be afraid to list your home in the winter. The serious buyers are out there looking. Just remember to always price it right and choose a realtor who knows how to market your property’s special features. Every house has them. They just need to be properly highlighted.