Buying or Selling a Home During the Winter: What do you need to know

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You may have heard that no one buys or sells homes during the winter months. Wrong! The fall and winter months are a great time for both buyers and sellers. Here is some advice if you’re in the market to buy or sell a home. 

Selling a Home in Winter

The Internet Has No Seasons

You probably already know that most buyers go online to search for homes, no matter what the temperature is outside. In fact, nearly all buyers (93%) used the internet during their home search last year. This instant access to property listings has had an impact on the typical seasons buyers look for homes. While spring is still the hottest home-buying season, serious home buyers are always on the lookout, checking the latest listings. So even though the weather may be changing, it won’t stop home buyers from shopping.

Fewer Sellers

Come spring, more sellers will flood the market and your home will be just another fish in a big pond. But right now, you’ve got a limited number of sellers on the market. Buyers will have fewer homes to choose from, which means you could sell your home faster.

Buyers Mean Business

Most of us will want to curl up under a blanket next to a warm fire on a cold winter day. If a buyer is trudging around in freezing weather to look at your home, they must be serious. That’s because many winter buyers are working against a deadline, whether it’s an expiring lease, relocation, or a contract on their current home.

Time Off

You may think people are less likely to see your home in the midst of their hectic holiday schedules. While that can definitely be true, keep in mind, most people also have more time off around the holidays. That means more time for browsing their favorite home search websites, dreaming about their future decor, and even scheduling home showings.

Tips for Selling in the Winter

Nothing says welcome home quite like walking out of the cold into a nice, warm house. It’s easier to make a house feel like home in the wintertime. Here are a few tips to help you set the buying mood:

  • Keep it simple. If you’re selling around a holiday and have decorations up, make sure they accent not overpower the room. Make sure your outside decorations are tasteful. Nothing says “this home won’t sell” like a yard full of inflatable Reindeer. 
  • Crank up the cozy. Light a fire if you have a fireplace, play soft holiday music in the background, and it doesn’t hurt to have fresh baked cookie-smell when showings go through. 
  • Winter days get dark early. Brighten the outdoors with lights on timers to help guests see where they’re going. 
  • Avoid a winter wonderland. Snow is great, unless we’re talking about outside shots of your home. Buyers want to see details of the house, not a blanket of snow. Make sure you have clear-weather photos of your home.

Remember, the nicer your home looks, the more likely it is to sell and for more money.

Buying a Home in Winter

Alright, home buyers. Now it’s your turn. Below are the benefits of buying a house when the weather outside is frightful.

Fewer Buyers

Okay, we already established that home sales take a plunge during the winter. So, typically, you won’t have to deal with as many competing buyers as you would if you waited to buy in spring. Which probably means you don’t have to worry as much about someone else snagging your dream home before you can submit an offer, or about getting caught in a bidding war. It’s kind of like when someone brings in holiday treats to share with the office, but most of your coworkers are out of town. You get first dibs on the best desserts!

Mortgage Rate Fluctuations

If you’re getting a mortgage, you might be able to lock in a good interest rate before the new year hits. Having a lower interest rate would save you money as you work to pay off your new home. Check in with Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation to see what the rates are going for today. 

With these advantages on your side, hopefully we’ve helped take the worry out of buying or selling this winter. If you do decide to take the jump, talk with one of our experienced Shorewest, REALTORS® today! 

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Categories: Home Selling, Homeowner, Quarterly Newsletter, Real Estate Tips, Tuesday Tips

One response to “Buying or Selling a Home During the Winter: What do you need to know”

  1. Thank you for helping me to understand that one of the benefits of house hunting in the winter is that you won’t have as much competition when it comes to closing on a property. My sister and her husband want to get a smaller home so that they can have a smaller mortgage payment. I think that if they work with a real estate agent, they will find a good deal before winter is over.

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