Many sellers avoid listing their homes during the winter months. They believe it’s always best to hold off for the spring market—but doing so could be a mistake.
There are many advantages to listing your property in the winter. While the market is typically slower, there are still people who need to buy homes at this time of year. And in the age of the internet, finding new listings has never been easier for them.
With New Year’s resolutions top-of-mind, January is a popular time to make major lifestyle changes — including those related to your living situation. In other words: there’s no reason to wait for warmer weather to list your house. This winter, you can use the season to your advantage.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of listing your property in the winter…
Listings Attract Serious Buyers
When homes are listed during the warmer months, they often attract a lot of attention – but not always from the right people. Open houses tend to result in a lot of window shoppers, nosy neighbours, and random walk-ins.
On the other hand, homes for sale in the winter can sometimes attract more serious buyers. Anyone who’s arranging viewing appointments during the dark, cold winter months is probably highly motivated to make a move!
The bottom line? While your listing may have fewer viewings, those who do come to see your property may be more inclined to close the deal quickly.
Less Competition (For You)
As the winter market traditionally offers fewer listings, there usually aren’t as many options for buyers to assess. That means less competition for you. Demand for available homes may also be higher than supply – giving you an advantage in negotiations.
Less competition also means that any stand-out marketing efforts you put into your listing will have much more of an impact online.
New Hires Means More Buyers
The start of a new year leads to many new hires in the corporate world. According to Workopolis, “many people launch new job searches at the beginning of the year,” with a “distinct spike in job openings advertised in January.”
It’s during this time that many companies receive their updated budgets for new hires and payroll—and begin to plan out their approach to staffing for the year ahead. All that hiring is good for the real estate industry, since job relocations and promotions often lead people to the housing market.
In addition, companies often hand out financial bonuses and payouts at the end of the calendar year and around the holidays, which means buyers can leverage their additional earnings towards buying a home.
Preparing For a Winter Sale?
While homes with pristine landscaping look terrific during the summer, a different set of qualities become appealing over the winter. If you’re listing your property during the coldest months, it’s the perfect time to show off its winter-ready attributes.
Try playing up assets like heated floors and driveways, fireplaces, and cozy lighting for those dark winter days. This is also the time to show off your hot tub (if you’ve got one, of course).
Energy-efficient finishings are also a huge differentiator. A well-insulated home with new windows and a modern furnace will cut down on heating bills. Installing heat tape or de-icing cables on your roof and gutters will help you avoid snow accumulation (and prevent damage). It’s one of the best ways to show buyers your home is designed to handle the harsh elements!