No matter what you've heard about homes selling faster in the spring, the truth is that homes sell faster and for more money in the winter. While winter is not the most desirable time to move, if you want to get the best price in the least amount of time, a winter home sale is the way to go.
Numbers Don't Lie
Studies show that homes sell up to 7 days faster in the winter, even in cities with harsh climates. For example, in Chicago, you have a 12-13 percent better chance of selling a home withing 6 months when listing in winter vs. spring and summer and a 9 percent better chance than listing in the fall. In warmer climates, the gaps are not as large, but winter listings still come out on top.
Motivated Buyers Are the Key
In the spring and summer, you will run into a lot of lookers vs. serious buyers. Winter buyers are moving because they have to, usually due to a job or life change or an addition to the family, so they are more motivated to make a deal quickly. After all, who wants to slush around through snow and ice looking for a home if you don't have to? The weather may also be a determining factor that spurs people to make faster decisions and be willing to pay more. Statistics also show that not only do homes listed between December 21 and March 21 sell faster, but they bring in an average of 1.2 percentage points more in sales price relative to the listing price than in the other seasons.
Cost Advantages of Preparing a Home for Sale in the Winter
Except in extreme Southern climates, the winter months are slow for most construction professionals, so it's a perfect time to have repairs, renovations and upgrades done at a discount and very quickly. Having recent receipts of repairs and inspections can ease a buyer's mind about systems that can't be inspected.
'Tis the Season to Be Selling
You can easily save money and create curb appeal using holiday decorations you already own, doing away with the need for expensive landscape plantings. Nothing says home like twinkling lights, the warm glow of a lit fireplace, and the scents and smells of the season. Don't overdo it, though, because excessive decorations may turn buyers off. Be sure to keep all the walkways and driveways clear of snow and ice so buyers can access the home safely.
Making the Deal
Since some elements of the house and yard may not be inspectable, such as a snow-covered roof, offering to set money aside in escrow to cover any necessary repairs found later will help ease buyers' minds. If you are the one in a hurry to sell, be willing to haggle on the price without selling too low. Decide what your bottom line is and stick to it. Selling your home in the winter can be beneficial in terms of both time and price. Necessary repairs and renovations can be cheaper and there is no need to landscape the yard for curb appeal. Take advantage of the holiday decorations to give your property a warm and homey atmosphere. In winter, as in any season, the most important element to a successful home sale is the help of an experienced local real estate professional (such as one from Sell 4 Free Real Estate Welsh Realty Corp).