You’ve done the repairs and slapped a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Now you’re twiddling your thumbs, waiting for spring. After all, you’ve heard time and time again that spring is the best time of year to sell your home… All those picturesque real estate photos of manicured lawns, brilliant blue skies, and colorful spring flowers seem to suggest there’s some truth to this idea! But do you really need to wait to list your home? The answer may surprise you!
In this blog post we explore the top 5 reasons Delmarva homeowners shouldn’t wait until spring to sell their homes. The most obvious, of course, is that we frequently enjoy mild winters here on the Eastern Shore (take this one, for instance!). While temperatures may dip a bit, you can still take care of most repairs and cosmetic improvements, even on the exterior of your home. And who isn’t itching for a few DIY projects during the long midwinter months anyway? (Okay, okay — we know not everyone likes to DIY; that’s what handymen are for!). Here are some other key reasons why you might consider listing sooner rather than later:
1. There is less competition to sell your home in the winter.
The simple law of supply and demand is key here. Since many sellers still adhere to the myth that spring is the optimal time to list, the winter months yield much less competition in the housing market. Simply put, buyers have fewer homes from which to choose. This means that your home is more likely to get noticed, AND you just might be able to sell it for more than you could in the spring.
2. Winter home buyers are serious home buyers!
It’s true that the days are shorter, darker, and colder in the winter, and the thought of moving can be a daunting task for many during this time of year. The upside to this is that people who venture out to look at homes during the winter are generally more serious and are probably on a timeline. You’re less likely to get looky-loos and more likely to get real buyers who are motivated and — better yet — pre-approved for mortgages! Corporate relocations also tend to happen during the early months of January and February. Relocating families are often credited some moving expenses (woohoo!) and are usually anxious to get settled and get their kids enrolled in school as quickly as possible. This can be a huge advantage for sellers.
3. A quiet market means motivated Realtors & faster loan processing.
Because there are generally fewer homes on the market during the winter months, real estate agents are able to devote more attention to individual homes on their roster. Also, lenders and other real estate professionals are usually less busy. Buyers are able to get their financing and other documentation in order much more quickly, which means you’ll hit fewer snags during the closing process.
4. Winter is the perfect time to show off your home’s “Coziness Factor”!
While it’s true that landscaping is less of a selling point during the winter months, you can easily up the ante inside your home. The key word you’re going for is cozy. If your home has a big beautiful fireplace, light it up and show it off! Stage your home with luxurious, snuggly throws, homey scents, and warm lighting. Keep your heat at a comfortable 70° during showings and emphasize the most energy efficient aspects of your home – a new furnace, new windows, insulation, sunlights, natural lighting — anything that can up the coziness factor (and cut down on your buyer’s potential heating costs!). If it’s dark outside, be sure to keep your house well lit, both inside and out. A warm, cozy home in winter is a sold home!
5. Homes listed in winter sell faster and for more money!
Contrary to popular belief, US home sale data in both cold and warm climates in recent years suggests that homes listed in the winter actually sold faster (by an average of one week) and for more money (by roughly 1% of the purchase price). When you couple this with the benefit of having less foot traffic in your home, the avoidance of whatever costs are associated with property maintenance over a longer period of time, and the convenience of a faster, less complicated closing process, the verdict on winter selling seems like a no-brainer!
Now is the time to sell your home!
What does all of this mean for you? If you’re considering listing your home in the coming months, it may be advantageous to do so sooner rather than later. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of buyers looking for homes are doing most of their searching online, and the internet knows no seasons. The right buyer may be searching for your home right now! Contact us today so we can help you get started.