By Christine Finch Oleynick
One of the questions I often get this time of year from prospective home sellers is, should I list my home in January or wait until spring?
There are some great reasons why it may pay to list your home now, rather than waiting for spring. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but here are a few things to consider when deciding when to list your home for sale.
Less competition in January due to less inventory
Basic economics of supply and demand tells us that most things sell for more money when there is less of them available. It has been proven time and again this applies to housing as well. Since fewer people tend to list their homes during the winter months, your home has a better chance of standing out.
It takes a little more motivation to bundle up and go look at houses when the weather gets cold. The fact that someone would want to house shop during one of the busiest times of year should let you know that these buyers are ready to make an offer.
Corporate Moves Happen in January
January is the most popular month for corporate transfers. People who are transferring for work are highly motivated buyers, and are limited on how much time they can spend looking for a house. If you are in an area where people tend to get transferred for work, you can take advantage of the situation by offering your home for sale in January.
Loans may be processed quicker
Because the housing inventory is generally smaller during the winter, lenders are less busy. This means that when your buyers are ready to go under contract, they can get their financing ready to go that much faster, and everyone can make it to closing quicker.
It pays to list your home in the winter
Yes, it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston, New York and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring
There are obviously many unique factors that go into the decision of when to list your home for sale, but if you are considering listing in the winter you should keep these things in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of listing now versus waiting until the spring.
If you do decide to list this winter, keep in mind, there are few things more inviting than a warm, cozy home when winter weather is here. Buyers are going to be out wandering the neighborhoods searching for the right home, and fighting cold weather to do so. You can design or stage your home to take advantage of the coziness that everyone wants with the winter season. A fire in the fireplace, warm lighting, the smell of cookies baking in the oven. A snow-filled yard and snow-covered roof. Do it right and buyers may not want to leave, which gives you leverage in trying to sell the home.
If you live in a cold weather climate please remember to keep the driveways and walkways clear.