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The Pros and Cons of Selling a House During Winter

Rob Thomson of Jupiter Florida is a Member of the "BILLIONAIRE CLUB" (Youngest member to be inducted by the International Luxury Real Estate


Benefits of Selling a House During Winter

While selling a house during winter may prove to be challenging, it isn’t at all impossible. Doing so has its own set of benefits, which include:

Lesser Competition

The majority of owners put up their properties for sale in summer or spring, which means competition among buyers is stiffer during those times. Meanwhile, there are fewer homes to choose from during winter. During this time, the properties that are for sale are more likely to garner buyers’ interest and get more showings.

With fewer options, many buyers become less picky and more serious when buying their future home. Unlike during summer and spring, not a few people only attend open houses for fun.

Since buyers in winter are keen on finding a place to live, sales become quicker, and the need to make repairs less urgent because buyers are less concerned and nitpicky.

Not to mention, many homebuyers desire to finalize the sale by the 31st of December to take advantage of tax benefits. Through these tax benefits, buyers can gain a couple of months’ deduction in property tax and mortgage interest.

Contractors Become Easier to Locate

Finding reliable contractors in spring or summer can be challenging because of the influx of property listings for sale. Many homes need to undergo updates or repairs before they get listed in the market.

They get plenty of availability during the winter season and are even willing to negotiate for more competitive rates to compensate for their off-peak season.

Real Estate Agents are Extra Motivated

The peak seasons for real estate agents are summer, fall, and spring. They’re most likely navigating a hectic schedule with barely enough time to take on new clients and book new appointments during these times.

This won’t be the case during the winter season since it is usually a downtime for many. Clients are hard to come by for some, which is why they feel extra motivated to perform well during this time of year.

Homeowners who decide to sell are assured that they are their real estate agent’s top priority, and their property will be showcased in the best way possible while being listed in all the right places.

Year-round Online House Hunting

The internet proved to be a gamechanger across different ventures in this day and age. It knows no season, which is beneficial for businesses across industries, including real estate.

While summer and spring remain the busiest time of year for home buyers, the serious takers are always on the lookout for the latest listings on the web. In fact, close to 93% of buyers found their then-future home online.

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Selling a house is made easier by instant access to property listings, even during winter.

Disadvantages of Selling a House During Winter

Meanwhile, here are the drawbacks that homeowners may most likely encounter when putting up their property for sale during the winter:

Winter Weather Inconvenience

It goes without saying that people prefer to stay indoors during the cold season. Winter weather makes certain activities, such as traveling, a bit more hazardous. That’s why many opt to remain cozied up in their nooks than bother going out in the first place.

As for real estate, house hunting can be extra challenging during this time of year. For one, buyers need to be in heavy coats and boots to view a house. On the other hand, homeowners need to exert effort tidying up their place for visitors at all times. This could entail spending extra on home cleaners too.

Limited Curb Appeal

While some may find snow to be festive, even magical, it doesn’t necessarily add to the appeal of homes being sold in winter. Not when half of the yard is buried, the roof lines all but disappeared, and the landscape is left looking dull.

Indeed, the property will look much better in spring or on a warm summer’s day. Homeowners can’t possibly wait that long to find a new owner for the house, especially if they’re on a tight schedule.

One way to add to the curb appeal of a house in winter is to fill it with holiday decor. Most people are celebrating the holidays during this time and will appreciate a home with a festive atmosphere.

Buyers Have More Financial Obligations

While people usually receive financial incentives as the year ends, it’s also the time for several financial obligations, not to mention holiday expenses.

Apart from buying holiday gifts or tickets for holiday vacations, they need to set aside funds to settle tax obligations, prepare their homes for the cold weather, and even season-related healthcare expenses.

These dues are enough reasons to make any prospective buyer reluctant to make a big purchase, such as buying a new house. Further, they can also decide against moving out due to the uncertain weather conditions at this point.

Spotting Flaws and Doing Repairs

Often, the weather during winter won’t offer people many chances to go outside and take a look. As a result, owners are likely to miss spots of the house that need fixing. In the worst-case scenario, it may not even be possible to finish these repair tasks until spring.

Since there are fewer buyers during this time, to begin with, they might use this as an opportunity to drive a hard bargain. Sellers who are wary that they won’t get another offer for the home until the following spring might just relent and accept these lowball offers.

Winter may not exactly be the ideal time to put up a home for sale. Buyers are discouraged from venturing out because of the weather, which can make a property look particularly gloomy.

Although this is the case, homeowners shouldn’t be discouraged as they still get to enjoy certain advantages that are only present during this time of year. After all, it’s the season to be jolly, and a new home might just be the perfect holiday gift that somebody has eagerly waited for.

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