Are you thinking of selling your home during the winter months? If so, why? What are some reasons to consider selling now instead of waiting until spring or summer?
Winter is often considered a slow season for residential property transactions. Many buyers wait until warmer weather arrives before they start looking at homes. This means fewer potential buyers out there viewing properties and looking to make a purchase.
However, there are several benefits to selling your home during the colder months. This post by Pat Robson (an estate agency based in the North East of England), puts forward the case for January is a good time to sell a property – despite it often being considered one of the worst months of the year to achieve a sale.
Indeed there is a lot of debate online about the best time of year to put a property on the market and look for a quick sale at a fair price. As with most things, there are pros and cons for each of the four seasons – but here we will look at the benefits (and some of the potential issues) associated with selling a house in winter.
Less competition in the market
During the winter months, you will likely find that there are fewer houses listed for sale. This means less competition and a higher chance of your property standing out from the crowd. It also makes it easier to negotiate with prospective buyers since they won’t have as many other properties to compare yours against.
Improved buyer intent
People who are looking to move house during winter time are usually very highly motivated to do so. At other times of the year, you will likely find a lot of people who are in no real rush to move house but are simply seeing what is out there available on the market. They may make viewing appointments without any real intent to make a purchase in the near future.
This is far less likely to happen during winter when you will find a much higher percentage of serious buyers out there looking at what is available in the sales market.
Some houses may seem more appealing during the winter months
This one might not necessarily apply to every property, but for others, it could be a significant factor.
The colder weather and the festive season bring out the best in some houses.
For example, big fireplaces invite buyers to envision themselves relaxing in front of one on a cold winter night while sipping hot cocoa. They provide warmth and comfort and give a sense of security. These features come in handy when the temperatures outside drop.
You could get a higher sale price
There are fewer houses on the market and fewer choices for potential buyers.
If your house is priced properly and presented well, winter buyers will take less convincing to make a purchase. They know they don’t have as much choice, so they won’t risk losing out on a great property.
Potential issues with selling a house in winter
There are simply fewer people actively looking to move house during this time of year. As mentioned previously, the chances are that there will be a higher proportion of serious buyers out there during the winter months, but there’s no getting away from the fact that there will certainly be a significantly smaller amount of potential buyers out there in the first place.
The harsh weather conditions associated with winter can also have a detrimental effect on the condition of some properties. This is particularly true of older homes.
Although some houses may look more appealing during the winter months, it’s important to consider the reduced amount of daylight during this time of year. There may be fewer suitable hours in the day in which to allow viewing to take place to ensure the property can be presented as best as possible to potential buyers.
Selling in winter: good or bad?
Before reading this post, you may have assumed that winter is definitely not a good time to try and sell a property. But that’s often not the case. There are pros and cons to selling a property at any time of year and also plenty of other things to consider besides this specific factor such as current market conditions in your area.
It’s worth remembering that if you’re thinking about trying to sell your home during the winter months, then you should always start by talking to an experienced local estate agent. You’ll need someone who knows how to present your property to its best advantage and who has experience in dealing with clients who want to buy or sell their own home during the winter months.