Dear Esther – We feel we have our home ready to sell but hear from friends and family that this time of year is not a good time to put it on the market. Is it better to wait until spring to sell?
This is probably the most frequently asked question this time of year when the weather is cold and snow may be in the forecast. Is anyone really going to venture out and look for a home when sipping hot tea by the fireplace is what many want to do in January? Because most are waiting to sell until spring, there are fewer homes on the market which makes January an appealing time to list yours. It may, in fact, be easier to sell your home in the winter because yours may be the only game in town. While everyone else waits until the spring, yours can be there and available for buyers who need one now.
And frankly, winter buyers are usually more serious about purchasing which is why they’re leaving the comforts of their home to look. Most often, they need to find a new living situation out of necessity and so arrive, looking at yours, with intentions to purchase. And all this cold weather encourages them to pull the trigger on a home sooner because going out is not all that much fun in January. This is probably why statistics show that homes sell more quickly in the winter.
If you decide to list in January, it is important to have your holiday decorations neatly packed away and your home clean and decluttered. Make sure your walkways and driveway are cleared of snow and ice. If you are concerned about buyers tracking in with messy boots, add a “please remove shoes” sign at the door and/or provide booties to cover shoes. Keep your heat at a comfortable temperature (in the 60s since buyers arrive with coats on) and light your fireplace if possible. You want buyers to stay, becoming attached to your home, in love with it and feeling like life will be better for them if it’s theirs.
Listing after the New Year is a way to get a jump on the spring market before everyone else is putting up for sale signs. Supply and demand is on your side so that, before you know it, you will be packing and moving on.