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List Your Home This Winter … Here’s Why!

Homes on the market in winter, on average, are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and sell at less of a discount.  There are a number of reasons for this:

1. Changing dynamics in home buyer searches.

Real estate professionals used to discourage home sellers from winter listings because of the lack of potential buyers, mostly due to logistical issues.  People go on vacation, there are less daylight hours to view homes, and bad weather inhibits buyers from taking extensive tours of homes for sale.

Today, this is a very minor issue.  Nine out of ten home buyers search for their home online, according to the National Association of Realtors.  They’re searching at night after dark.  They’re browsing real estate websites while out of town, at Grandma’s after a long Thanksgiving dinner.  They’re driving around their desired neighborhood, viewing available homes on a mobile phone, in the safety of their warm vehicle.

The way buyers search for homes has changed, and their location, the time of year, and the weather have far less effect on their ability to view homes than it used to.

2. Changes in home buyers’ mobility.

Maybe even more significantly, the home buying population today has become far more mobile.  Americans move to new cities and states at a far greater rate than in generations past.  These homes buyers move mainly for professional reasons, at all times of the year.

The percentage of homes sold in winter compared to total sales has risen significantly over time.  Home buyers’ changing employment and mobility situations have lessened the seasonal effect that we’re used to quoting in real estate circles.  There are certainly still less sales in winter, but that brings us to our final point.

3. Competition is lighter in winter.

Your competition is nowhere to be seen.  While the buyer may have had 30 homes to choose from in June, there may only be 10 homes that fit their criteria in January. If they are motivated to buy, they will choose one of those 10 homes.

Sellers who stick out the market through the winter actually increase their chance to sell significantly.  When the smaller number of winter sales are compared to the smaller inventory of available homes, you’ll see that an individual home seller may actually be just as likely to have their home sell in winter as in summer.

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