Nine reasons to list your house this winter
Thanks to the mild weather we’re fortunate to receive during the Carolina winters, selling your home in the winter is actually a good idea.
Not convinced? We’ve got 9 reasons to change your mind.
Experts consider a balanced housing market to have roughly six months of inventory; according to a recent report, North Carolina currently has about 2.8 months of supply, and South Carolina has 3.5 months of supply.
Low inventory coupled with in migration throughout the Carolinas continue to drive up the demand for housing, making this the perfect time to sell a home, regaurdless of the season.
Not as much competition
With little or no competition, your winter listing may look much more attractive to buyers who have very few houses on the market to compare it to.
The spring real estate market can be particularly hard for sellers with less than perfect homes.
Sure, spring brings out the buyers, but it also brings out the sellers, too. This means you’ll have more competition, and buyers have more homes to compare yours against– if your house isn’t in perfect condition, buyers are more apt to notice and get picky.
Low interest rates
With interest rates hovering around 3.68%,* for a 30 year mortgage, down from 4.75% last year, there’s never been a better time to buy, and buyers will use this financial break to buy now– even in the winter.
Less focus on your landscaping
Typically, in our area, keeping your house in show shape in the winter pretty much just means getting and keeping the leaves up.
There are the rare snow days, and if you have a showing, you’ll need to shovel or melt a path to your door so that prospective buyers don’t come skating in at their own peril.
Gloomy and gray days do mean your house’s street view should be warm and inviting. Pops of color at the front door, such as a seasonal wreath and evergreen potted plants add interest and welcome prospective buyers.
Plus, giving the entryway a little winter lift makes your listing photos stand out from other houses online.
But no one expects an immaculate lawn of even green grass, beds of blooming annuals or ready-for-entertaining outdoor spaces. So, if you hate yard work, a winter listing may prove advantageous for you.
If you do have a yard to show off when it’s not the off-season, include in your sales kit pictures that show what the property looks like when the temperature is warmer, like the garden in full bloom or a relaxing the backyard in the summertime.
Your small home becomes “cozy and inviting”
Winter could be a great time to welcome buyers to show off how your house feels, instead of the space it may or may not have.
Create a sense of warmth throughout the home, no matter what your square footage, starting with the living room, where staging can have the greatest impact, according to a National Association of Realtors report. Items like a luxurious blanket can set the tone since people are in snuggle-on-the-sofa-mode.
If there is a showing, have your gas fireplace going (if you can do so safely), homey smells wafting through the rooms, and the warm glow of lamps, even in the daytime.
Turn the heat up before you leave for showings, and put your utility bill out of your mind. Sticking to 68 to 70 degrees F will generally keep everyone not too hot and not too cold.
A house that feels nice and warm the minute a prospective buyer walks in will make the house feel homier and more welcoming. It also shows that the house is energy-efficient and well-insulated.
And, don’t forget to light up your house inside and out during the shorter, darker days, to make it look like the haven it is.
Real estate professionals are usually not as busy
Winter closings could be easier than say, if you were trying to close at the highest closing times of the year. During the spring, you may be on a wait list for inspectors, title searchers, attorneys, and all the other service professionals you need for a successful closing.
And, as a bonus, real estate agents may have more time to devote specifically to you, without the usual number of spring clients vying for their attention.
Homes may sell more quickly and for more during winter
Understand our local climate—both the weather and the market—and enlist a Realtor to help you check the number of days on the market for current and recently sold listings in your particular area.
If properties are selling quickly, use that information to help you make the decision to list during the winter or not.
Ask a Realtor to also check closing prices of comparable properties sold in the past 30 days, then compare with current list prices to make sure you can get top dollar for your winter time listin
Buyers are often more serious
There are plenty of buyers who still have to move this time of year, and those buyers are on a mission rather than just looking around. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean savvy buyers aren’t still searching the market.
Buyers are online every day of the year, and most buyers start looking for a new home whenever they feel ready. Some look in the off-season thinking they believe they can get a deal. But in a seller’s market, the truth is that winter can work in the seller’s favor.
According to the Washington Post, sometimes the supply and demand curve actually swings to the sellers’ favor in the off seasons of mid-summer and the dead of winter.
If you want to sell your home in the off-season, the buyer has to come first. You’ll need to work with your Realtor to devise a strategy for showings, even during snow days, when buyers might take advantage of being off work for a few hours.
Sure there may be less buyers compared to spring, but winter buyers tend to be serious. And while it may be inconvenient, it’s crucial not to deny showings, as that could be a missed opportunity.
Professionals are on the move
Many people relocate for work this time of year, so they can be on the job by end of first quarter. That means they are looking for somewhere to live, and that somewhere could be your house.
Bottom line? People move here every month of the year, not just March, April and May.
Understand your own motives for selling
If you need to sell because of a new job, a different school, a change in family dynamic, or because your commute is slowly stealing your soul, then sell now. The winter season should not be a deal killer, especially here in the Carolinas
With the right Realtor guiding you through, you could be sold and closed before the first dogwoods bloom.
So why waste the lovely days of spring keeping your house clean for the parade of spring buyers, when you could be relaxing in the sunshine at your new home?
*interest rates at close of business week of Dec 5, 2019