At my office Christmas party last month I was talking with several other agents all with buyers and little inventory to show them. It got me thinking while spring and summer may the conventional time to sell your home, don’t discount winter home sales.
Like so many things in life, finding the best time to sell a house or list that Springfield, MO real estate is complicated. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the ground has thawed to hammer in that For Sale sign.
Less inventory = more attention
Because a lot of people don’t want to list their homes around the holidays, there are very few homes to buy at the start of a new year. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still potential buyers on the prowl, and there is less competition. If your house is the only game in town, you’re likely to have a lot more interest than in spring when the market is saturated.
The Springfield housing market has been very strong with short days on market and increasing prices. A shortage of desirable inventory often means a plethora of buyers waiting on the sidelines. This may result in multiple-offer situations for sellers who list this time of the year. With fewer options, traditionally nit-picky home shoppers are more likely to forgo their “must-have” list and give your place a more open-minded look. For some additional tips for a successful home sale click here.
The buyers that brave the cold weather are motivated. If a buyer is looking at homes in single digit temperatures they need a home now, not months from now. Motivated buyers with limited inventory create a lot of activity for the homes on the market.
First-quarter job relocations
Companies tend to place and/or relocate their workers during the first quarter of the New Year. This means that every winter, there is an assured populace that’s looking for a new home, quickly. And good news for your asking price: This group often has some credited moving expenses to burn through and a deadline.
No landscaping, no problem
Listing your place in the spring or summer means keeping up with the landscaping (curb appeal!), which can be arduous. You’ll need to invest some time and money into new plantings and possibly a little sod, or at the very least, some potted plants and lawn maintenance. And if your landscaping is actually a selling point, the pruning responsibilities are even greater. You’ll need to trim the hedges, tend the flowers, and otherwise make sure your curb front property and backyard are up to snuff at every possible moment.
In wintertime, though, the living is easy. If there’s snow, shovel it — that’s pretty much it. No after-work and weekend hours toiling to maintain your outdoor space, and no stresses about its supposed inadequacies.
A faster home sale
It’s counterintuitive but true: Homes actually sell more quickly in the winter months. There’s no general consensus on exactly why this is true, although low inventory is quite likely a big part of it. Also in winter, most people just don’t want to slog through showing after showing. Instead, they want the buying process to be over and done with, and so they’re more willing to pull the trigger.
A higher listing price
Another surprise: Statistics show that homes actually sell at a slightly higher price in winter. This owes to several less mysterious factors. For starters, your real estate agent is going to be more adamant about pricing the property just right out of fear the home will languish on the market until spring. Less competition and quick sales tends to result in fewer price reductions and thus higher sales prices. Motivated buyers might also submit a price that’s too good to refuse. Finally, a fear of rising mortgage rates — rates tend to go up in the spring — might cause a buyer to be more willing to pay a higher price upfront. Whatever the reason, it’s a happy discovery for many people who finalize a home sale when the weather outside is frightful.
There is No Online Season
Traditional home buying and selling seasons have evolved as a result of instant internet access to property listings. While spring is still the hottest home-buying season, serious home buyers are always on the lookout, checking out the latest listings on their tablet before bed or while waiting for their kid’s football game to end.
Today’s buyers do the bulk of their home searches online at sites like http://BriceDavis.com. That’s especially true when the weather outside is not so cheerful. This means working with an agent who understands how to effectively market your home online is very important. Your online listing and photos are especially important. Make sure you use high-quality photos that show off your home’s selling points. Photos of the exterior in all seasons can help, as can including a video tour and night shots of the exterior with all the lights on.
If you are thinking about selling your home call me at 417-693-3254 or Brice@BriceDavis.com. Don’t let old man winter keep you from putting your house on the market. If you are considering selling your home this next year, now might be the time for you to go ahead and make that move.
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