Is it OK to List Your House in Winter?

Historically, the real estate market has been particularly sensitive to changing seasons. You’ve probably heard the conventional wisdom that spring and summer represent an ideal time to list your property. And likewise, you probably know the longstanding admonishment against listing in winter.

But how much stock should you put in this conventional wisdom? Is winter really a poor time of the year to list your home? Will a winter listing make it more challenging for you to get your place sold?

For those wondering what’s the best time to sell my house, here’s some guidance.

Real Estate is Becoming Less Seasonal

The first thing we should note is that real estate sales aren’t quite as tied to the changing seasons as they used to be. These days, homesellers can connect with buyers more or less year-round.

There are a number of reasons for this change, but the main one is technology. No longer do buyers have to brave the winter elements to tour dozens of houses. Nowadays, they can very easily browse and find appealing properties from their favorite real estate website or app, all without having to leave their couch!

Then, when they do head out for wintertime house hunting, they can be much narrower in their focus, making better use of their time out in the cold!

The bottom line: For those wondering what’s the best time to sell my house, the answer isn’t quite as clear-cut as it used to be… and that’s a good thing! It means you can get your house sold in any season and in all kinds of weather.

Reasons to Sell in Winter

Indeed, there may actually be some upsides to listing in the winter months. Here are a few particular benefits to listing your home during the colder months.

  • Generally, winter shoppers are more serious. In spring and summer, you’ll get a lot of window shoppers, people who just like touring homes but aren’t really committed to making a purchase. You’ll find fewer such buyers in winter, when people tend to be busier with holiday prep.
  • Buyers will want to close quickly. Another upshot to selling your home in the winter? Buyers will be more motivated to close the deal quickly, both to have the transaction completed in advance of the holidays and also to take advantage of tax benefits before the year ends.
  • Fewer people list during the winter. The conventional wisdom we articulated above is still pretty well-entrenched, which means a lot of homesellers resist listing in the winter. This means you’ll probably have less competition.

These are just some of the reasons why you might want to think seriously about listing your home during the winter.

Downsides to Listing During Winter

In the interest of balance, we should also note some arguments against selling in the winter. None of these downsides are deal breakers, but they do warrant serious consideration.

  • Showings can be quite inconvenient. Trying to juggle showings is challenging no matter the season… but when you’re swept up in holiday festivities and end-of-the-year activity, it can be especially maddening.
  • The weather can work against you. Rain, snow, and cold temperatures will make some buyers reluctant to tour your home. What’s more, extreme elements may reveal problems with your home, such as leaks, freezing problems, etc.
  • You’ve got to work around the holidays. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, listing your home in the winter means you have to contend with the holidays themselves, which can sometimes stymy your efforts for a smooth, quick process. For example, you may find that agents, attorneys, and mortgage professionals are a little less responsive than normal during this busy season. The same goes for home inspectors and other key vendors.

These issues might give you some pause but remember: There’s not necessarily one good or bad time to list your home. It all comes down to your particular situation, and your unique real estate goals.

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Speaking of which, we’d love to provide you with some individualized guidance for when and how to list your home. See some personalized tips for selling your house; request your free report today!