We’ve all heard it: “You should never think about selling your home in winter.” It’s like a real estate creed. If you want to sell, you’re better off waiting until the spring season when flowers bloom and buyers multiply.
We’re here to dispute that claim. Like most hard and fast rules, “selling your home in winter is a mistake” has some truth to it. But it’s even less true than you think. There’s actually a wealth of recent data that proves winter to be the most fertile ground for sellers to plow.
In fact, homes listed in winter (even in colder climates) are more likely to sell within 6 months, have a higher sale-to-list price ratio, and enjoy fewer days on the market.
Since selling a your home in Chattanooga can be a complex decision, we’ll try to simplify it. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should consider selling your home in winter.
Consider selling your home in winter because:
1. Your agent may have fewer clients
Your realtor’s cold months can be chilly for business. When they’re serving fewer sellers, the ones they have can receive more attention. More time and energy usually lead to greater success – and since you’re both motivated to sell, it’s a win all around.
2. Fewer homes on the market means more visibility
Majority opinion holds that spring is the best time to sell. It may not be fact-based (according to recent data), but it’s still a pervasive idea.
Because of lessened desire to sell, good homes are scarcer on the market. But there are always buyers, both potential and motivated. If your house is listed, especially by an agent who uses modern photography techniques and equipment [link to photography post], you’ll get a ton of interest. More than you’ll get in spring with a flooded market.
3. Buyers are more motivated
The best thing about winter is that buyers are only choosing a house now because they have to. And motivated buyers aren’t as firm on their “must-haves” with fewer options to choose from.
So, while it’s true that there are fewer buyers, they’re disproportionately focused. The interested parties you do have will bear fruit much sooner than spring’s bargain-shoppers will. Consider selling your home in winter – because “winter” and “window-shopping” don’t go together.
4. Landscaping? What's that?
Everything hibernates during the winter. So your grass won’t look good, your shrubs and trees will be barren, and your window boxes will be dirt. But so will your competition’s. And your yard full of weeds won’t be growing like … weeds.
Not having to keep up your landscaping is a blessing. And if your landscaping is a selling point, your home will stand out even more during the winter. Buyers want to see potential, and when the bar is high even in winter, they’re sold.
Here’s all you need to do: shovel snow (if there’s any) and pick up fallen sticks. That’s it.
5. Job relocation bonanza
Companies often hire or relocate employees during the first quarter, when they have the whole year’s budget to play with. So every winter, there are always people who need a new home, and fast. And many times, the company pays moving costs.
Your realtor should know how to position your home to be most attractive to these new arrivals to your community. Ask any prospective agent what their strategy is to draw those buyers.
6. Higher listing price, higher sale
Homes statistically sell at a higher price in the winter. Supply is low, and demand is willing to pay more.
But supply and demand doesn’t fully explain the higher price. It’s actually because your agent will probably take care to price your home just right. They’re most interested in listing at a price the market will support, rather than trying to lowball competition.
On the buyer side, they might also offer with a price that’s closer to your desired sale price – since they don’t want their offer to be rejected out of hand. And they don’t want to get hit with higher mortgage rates come spring.
7. Your home may sell faster
It’s strange, but true, according to actual data. And we think it’s because of several reasons that combine to create the perfect storm.
You should consider selling your home in winter because:
Now you know. The cat’s out of the bag. You need to consider selling your home in winter – for some very compelling reasons.
For the agent team that knows how winter can boost your home sale, trust Jim and Monique Lea. We’re experienced. And we’ve been finding buyers for sellers in Chattanooga for a combined total of 35 years. While the average agent is closing 1 home, the ink is drying on closing papers for 19 Lea Team clients.