We’ve all heard myths and urban legends that simply aren’t true. For example, you may have heard…
- If you put a penny on the railroad tracks you’ll derail the train, flatten the penny, or both.
- If you cross your eyes they’ll stick that way… forever!
- If you swallow gum it will remain lodged in your stomach for seven years. Unless…
- You eat Pop Rocks and drink soda, in which case your stomach will burst (and the previously-swallowed gum will be expelled by the explosive chemical reaction).
Similarly, many of us have heard the real estate equivalent of being sternly cautioned to wait an hour between eating and swimming… the myth that people should wait for spring, because you can’t sell houses in the winter.
I’m here to help homeowners melt that real estate myth and clearly see the truth, even if they did sit too close to the TV when they were little.
Why winter can be a prime season to sell your home
The change of season changes the dynamic of real estate sales, giving fewer listings more leverage. There are several reasons why winter can be a strategic time to sell your home:
Low inventory means high visibility
The supply of for-sale homes tends to dip with the mercury in the thermometer. There are fewer homes on the market this time of year because many homeowners fall for the myth that you “can’t sell a snowbank.”
But the truth is that people need to buy homes all year long, regardless of weather. By listing during the seasonal dip in inventory you can potentially concentrate stronger, more rapid interest on your property than you could next spring, when the market will saturated with an abundance of competitive new home listings.
Winter buyers are more serious
Lots of “Lookie Lou’s” look at lots of properties and go to lots of open houses in the spring and summer. There may be fewer buyers during the winter months, but you are likely to find that those who do bundle up to brave the ice, snow and wind are more focused and more motivated than fair weather shoppers.
Buyers with pressing timetables and limited options may be less picky, more open minded, and more motivated to make quick offers.
Cold weather generates warm regards from your listing agent
A good realtor will always be motivated to sell and will make clients feel like the most important people in the world, regardless of season. But the reality is that listing in the winter can help.
Realtor activity often slows down during the icy and snowy months, especially here in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Fewer clientele means listing agents have greater motivation and more time and energy to promote the properties they represent.
No landscaping, no problem
I have three winter words for you if your property is lacking in the landscaping department: “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
Properties listed in the spring or summer require constant attention to existing landscaping, which is a critical aspect of curb appeal. Warm weather months also highlight any deficiencies in existing landscaping.
Higher closing prices
According to Trulia, “Statistics show that homes actually sell at a slightly higher price in winter.” I was curious to see if this assertion would hold up in the Lakes Region, so I did a quick study of Belknap County single family homes listed between the beginning of May and the end of August, 2017, and I compared the results against homes listed between the beginning of December 2016 and the end of March 2017.
Sure enough, the median closed prices for homes listed during the winter months were about 3.6 percent higher than comparable Belknap County properties listed in the spring and summer months, netting a median difference of an extra $7,650 for the winter listings.
Those are the cold, hard facts. So don’t let a real estate myth make you wait until spring to sell. Winter months can mean more focus on fewer listings, and more motivated buyers. You can sell your home in the winter months, and if you contact me, I can help.
But please just don’t go outside with a wet head this time of year… you’ll catch your death of cold!
Feel free to contact me with questions about buying or selling residential real estate in the Lakes Region. Your questions may be the subject of a future article.
Brent Metzger is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH. He can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 229-8322, at the office at (603) 279-7046, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.