Here in Pittsburgh, and mostly anywhere with cold winter temperatures, people often decide to opt-out of a winter listing, and instead wait to place their home on the market and opt-in for the busy “Spring Selling Season”. However, this isn’t always the best approach to take. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the holidays have passed, and that the snow is flying, that it is impossible to sell or buy a home during the winter months.
Consider this, serious and pre-approved buyers will always be ready, willing and able to buy, and in my experience, won’t let a little ice on their windshield prevent them from going outside to look at houses. Same goes for serious real estate agents. Agents are typically more readily available and can devote more time to your housing needs during these months, thus providing you with better more attentive service. When the “Spring Market” hits, realtors can get busy, which in return can leave them with less time for the personal attention that you as a buyer or seller deserve.
As a seller, you will have to make sure that your home is free and clear of snow & ice, and we all know that your beautiful spring flowers and green grass aren’t in yet, but don’t let that stop you from trying. As the saying goes, the first 3 rules in the real estate business are Location, Location, Location, so since that won’t change no matter how cold it is outside, maybe this is a good time to prepare your home for the winter market?
As buying goes, some people would argue that buyers’ can get better prices on homes during the winter months, as demand for houses is much lower, and in return there will be less competition. However, the same argument can be made for sellers. Less inventory on the market equals less competition, thus providing greater exposure for your home for those serious buyers.
For example, driving around here in Pittsburgh, you will notice there are very few for sale signs in the yards, but once April rolls around (BAM) its’ like a feeding frenzy of real estate signs everywhere. This creates much more competition for both selling and buying, and can impact your homes desirability, as your home can got lost in all of the market activity.
Another winter benefit includes consumer buying power.
During these winter months, several people not only begin budgeting for the New Year, but also begin finishing their tax returns. As is often the case, buyers will want to move quickly after receiving a sizable tax refund, thus giving them more buying power and making their desire to buy a home much greater.
Additionally, nobody can predict the future, the economy, or the mortgage interest rates, so waiting to list your home several months down the road may actually negatively impact your home’s value. In other words higher interest rates may cause lower home prices as your borrowers will then have less buying power, or a dip in the stock market could influence your potential buyer to wait until a recovery period in their portfolio returns?
So, don’t wait, there are too many variables. Houses will sell all year long no matter where you live or what Mother Nature throws your way.
Call us now, and give selling or buying a home in the winter a try, it just may be the right decision for you?