Home sellers and real estate agents often fear the winter months because it
seems like a poor time to list. The truth is that winter can be a great time to list
your home for sale.
Conventional wisdom tries to say that taking your home off the market in winter,
or waiting to list, until the spring selling season starts is the best way to sell your
home. The truth is that if you are trying to sell your home, wouldn’t you rather list
while the competition is less?
With the end of the summer season, often homes are removed from the market,
either because the sellers mistakenly believe they need to wait for the spring. But
when listings flood the market in April, prices can go down as a “buyers’ market”
takes hold and inventory increases.
Buyers in the winter also tend to be more serious about a home purchase. The
holidays are a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. In real estate, studies
show that if a buyer is out looking for a new home during these months, they
have a reason to move, which tend to create better offers.
Home sellers can enhance their ability to capitalize on the slower pace and
smaller inventory by listing their homes for sale now. Winter is the perfect time to
get the highest possible sales price while the competition is drinking pumpkinspiced
latte and waiting for the spring.
Tips for Buying a House in the Fall
Surprisingly, fall is a great time to buy a home.
There are still homes on the market which did not sell during the summer months, some at deep discounts.
There are also homes newly listed by sellers trying to beat the slower winter months.
At the same time, there are fewer buyers out searching, which makes it the perfect time to buy a home.
• Fall home buyers should be ready to move when they find the right home and at the right price. Get prequalified so that you can jump at the right opportunity.
• Notice the imperfections. With windy or rainy weather, homes can show their scars.
Look for evidence of water intrusion and evaluate the yard debris with the falling leaves.
Look at gutters and ceilings for both.
• Visit the local school. With school in session, this is a good time to visit and ask questions from teachers and administrators.
• Wait for winter if necessary.
Buyers all but evaporate in the winter months, so while the competition seems low in the fall, wait for the right home to come along, even if it’s in January.
Buying a home this fall is exciting.
By using the season to its advantage, home buyers can get a great deal.