Should You Be Selling Your House in the Winter Months?

Should You Be Selling Your House in the Winter Months?

When is the best time of the year to put your home on the market? The consensus is to wait until spring or summer since potential buyers are more active and people typically want to find a home before the start of a new school year.

If you can’t wait until spring or summer, selling during the winter season isn’t necessarily a bad decision, but it’s important to know what to expect.

Selling Your Home in the Winter Months

If you need to sell a house fast in Tennessee, you might not want to wait until the spring to list your home on the market.

Fewer buyers are looking for a home during the wintertime. On the plus side, it’s easier to find motivated buyers with a strong financial profile.

However, having less competition between buyers means you might have to make compromises such as lowering your asking price or covering a part of the closing costs. You should know that sellers typically get 12% over market value when selling in May while this percentage drops to 6% in November.

The lack of competition means buyers might have high expectations. While summertime buyers won’t mind spending money on a few repairs, it’s best to take care of repairs and improvements before listing your home in the winter to make it as appealing and move-in ready as possible.

Finding a realtor can also be challenging since some professionals take a break during the colder months due to the slow housing market.

There are additional considerations regarding home staging. You’ll save money on landscaping since plants go dormant, but you’ll have to keep up with gutter cleaning, keep the walkways and the doormat clear, and tune up your HVAC system for heating.

Establishing curb appeal can be tough, especially if your front lawn or features like a deck or pool add value to your home.

Planning an open house can also be difficult. It’s best to schedule individual visits to accommodate the schedule of winter buyers, which means you might have to leave your home for the afternoon on short notice.

Is It a Good Idea To Sell a House During the Winter?

If you wait until the summer months, you’ll be more likely to get your asking price. You might even find yourself in the middle of a bidding war and get more than you hoped for, especially if you live in an area with a high demand for housing.

However, not everyone can afford to wait before putting their home on the market. If you have plans and need to sell your home in the winter, it’s possible to make the most out of this situation.

The main advantage is that winter buyers are motivated. These buyers might need a home to start a new job or need to move to the area immediately for another reason.

They might also be potential buyers who have been looking for a while but weren’t able to find a home during the summer.

With fewer homes on the market, your property can stand out and attract buyers, especially if there are some features other homes don’t have.

Reduced inventory in the real estate market also means your realtor should be highly motivated and actively look for leads.

While cold weather doesn’t allow you to showcase exterior home features, you can create a memorable first impression by adapting your staging strategies to the cold weather:

  • Keep the area around the front door clear and enhance it with a few winter plants in pots.
  • Create a cozy atmosphere by staging your living room with some warm blankets and cushions.
  • A clean kitchen with a few rustic knick-knacks can complete the cozy look.
  • Some warm light bulbs can create a soft and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Leave a few holiday decorations up to make your home more inviting.
  • Draw attention to insulation and energy-efficiency features by adjusting the thermostat. 
  • If you have some outdoor features you can’t showcase, include some listing photos taken during the warmer months.

When Is the Best Month in Winter to Sell a House?

The Memphis housing market is usually at its slowest in February. However, seasonal trends can vary at the local level with many homeowners reporting October and December as the slowest month.

Get a feel for your local market by looking at historic data for winter home sales over the years. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid the holiday season since people are busy with things other than house hunting.

Listing your home after the new year could be a smart move since potential buyers have had a few weeks to go over their finances and discuss what they want to find in a home.

You can also list your home in November to target buyers who want to close before the holidays.

Selling Your House in the Winter Months

Things To Consider When Selling a Home During the Winter

If you decide to sell in the winter, you’ll have to address a few challenges linked to energy costs and moving.

Fewer Homebuyers Due to Rising Energy Costs

Heating means gas and electricity bills go up. Since buying a home tends to leave buyers cash poor for a while, facing high utility bills can be an obstacle.

Here’s how you can address this challenge:

  • Invest in a few home improvement projects to improve insulation.
  • Keeping your home warm during visits spotlights your effective heating and insulation.
  • Be transparent about your heating costs.
  • Most utility companies allow you to pay in advance. Consider paying a few month worth of gas and electricity bills so buyers can settle in their new home without facing energy bills right away.

Colder Season Makes Moving Harder

Moving can be difficult in the cold month, especially for buyers who are planning interstate moves. Moving companies tend to charge more to account for inclement weather, and it can be difficult to find friends who are willing to help those planning a DIY move.

Serious buyers will find a way to move during the winter, but home sellers can make things easier:

  • Snow, leaves, and debris can accumulate during the winter months. Keep your driveway and walkways clear.
  • Be flexible about the timeline. Let the buyers take possession of the home early if possible.
  • Get your stuff out of the way as quickly as possible. Showing a home that is empty or mostly empty can reassure potential buyers that moving will be a smooth experience.
  • Let the buyers have the keys early so they can start storing their belongings before you finish moving out.
  • Offer to store some of the buyer’s belongings if you have a room or garage you have already emptied.
  • Communicate with potential buyers. Prospective buyers who look for homes in the winter might be on a tight schedule and expect to take possession of the home quickly.

How To Sell Your House During the Winter

There are different options available for home selling in the winter. You can opt for a traditional approach and go through a realtor.

Your real estate agent will recommend an asking price, list your home, and help you find a qualified buyer. Since buyers tend to be more motivated in the winter, you might find someone quickly, but you need to consider the possibility that your home will sit on the market for a while due to the small pool of buyers.

You should also know that homes in need of repairs and properties with features that won’t appeal to everyone can be difficult to sell in the winter since serious buyers have other options to consider.

If you need to sell your home quickly, your best option is to seek cash home buyers in Memphis. These buyers purchase homes all year round, regardless of their state.

Since cash home buyers primarily invest in homes to resell or rent them to generate a profit, they won’t focus on things like curb appeal. You can also expect a fair offer if you want to sell your home ‘as is’ instead of investing money in repairs.

There are fewer risks involved compared to a traditional real estate transaction because the buyer is using an existing cash reserve. Selling to a traditional buyer means there is a risk of the bank denying financing if the buyer’s financial situation changes or if the bank fails to appraise the home at a value that equals or exceeds the selling price.

Plus, you won’t have to go through an agent or pay a commission on the sale price. The other advantages of selling a house by owner include getting an offer fast. If you accept this offer, you can expect to close within a week or so.

Wrap Up

Selling your home in winter has a few drawbacks due to the limited pool of buyers available, but you can make the most of it by seeking motivated buyers and drawing attention to energy-efficient home features.

If your home has been sitting on the market for a while or you don’t want to go through the process of finding a wintertime buyer, we buy houses Cordova residents want to sell for good prices. So, give us a ring!

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