A lot of home sellers are jittery about listing their property in the winter. This isn’t without reason: Historically, the conventional wisdom has long held that winter is a slow season for home sales, and a bad time to list unless you really have to.
We’d argue that this conventional wisdom just doesn’t hold true any longer; what’s more, there are a number of other recurring myths about how to sell a house in winter. We’ll try to debunk some of them below.
Also remember: No matter the season, you can get individualized recommendations for the best way to sell your house when you request your SOLD.com report. Claim yours today!
6 Myths About Selling Your Home in Winter
Myth #1: Nobody looks for homes in winter!
There was certainly a time when buyers were reluctant to brave the cold weather in search of their next home. These days, however, it’s considerably easier. Buyers can do the bulk of their research using apps and websites, without having to get up from their warm and comfy sofa! Then, they can go physically explore the homes that catch their eye, feeling confident that their efforts won’t be frivolous. What that means is that you’re much more likely to have interested house hunters, even if the weather outside turns cold or yucky.
Myth #2: In wintertime, the market is unfavorable to sellers.
The thinking goes that, if you’re selling your home in the winter, you must really be desperate… and thus, you’re not in a good condition to negotiate. But as a counterpoint, we’ll note that, because inventory is lower in the winter months, you have a lot less competition to deal with… and buyers who are desperate for a new place to live will have fewer options to consider. In other words, winter markets can actually be highly advantageous for sellers.
Myth #3: It’s harder to show and stage a home during winter.
It’s true that, during winter, your lawn and garden areas probably won’t look as nice. Your trees may look spare and spooky. Grey skies may not cast your home in the most appealing light. And yet, the winter weather also gives you plenty of opportunities to help buyers feel cozy. Blankets, throw pillows, scented candles, festive decor, holiday wreaths… there are a number of ways in which you can use the winter weather as an excuse to make your house feel truly home-like.
Myth #4: Around the holidays, buyers just aren’t as motivated.
This myth gets it backwards. It’s true enough that, during the holiday season, a lot of unserious buyers, or window shoppers, will back off and leave the market. But those who remain in the market, looking for homes even as Christmas approaches, are obviously quite eager and quite serious. The buyers you’ll encounter during the winter months tend to be highly motivated to close a deal ASAP.
Myth #5: A lot of buyers are too cash-strapped during the holidays.
Here, the thinking goes that during winter, people are saving their money for Christmas shopping; thus, they’ll be much less open to making a really big purchase, such as a house! There’s some truth to this, but then again, the end of the year is also when people tend to get work bonuses and other payouts, which means that some of your buyers may have a little more cash than normal. That makes it easier, not harder, for you to get your home sold.
Myth #6: Agents aren’t working as much during the winter months.
Actually, the winter season is an ideal time to get the undivided attention of a real estate agent, precisely because fewer people are selling. But also remember that you don’t have to work with an agent to get your home sold! The best way to sell your home may be to work with a flat-fee broker, to sell directly to an investor, or even to go the FSBO route. As always, you can get a personalized recommendation for how to sell a house by claiming your SOLD.com report
The bottom line: You can’t believe all the conventional wisdom about real estate sales; don’t let any of these myths deter you from a successful winter listing!