According to conventional wisdom, winter is a poor time to list your home—but new research disproves that. What the data shows is that:
- Homes listed in winter are more likely to sell.
- They sell more quickly.
- They sell for higher dollar amounts.
Learn more about why winter is the best time of the year to list, and get other home selling tips from the experts at Sold.com.
The conventional wisdom is that certain times of the year are simply better for home sellers. Spring and summer have always been upheld as the best part of the year for listing your home, while winter—and especially the holiday season—is seen as something of a wasteland.
According to the latest research, however, everything you thought you knew about seasonal home selling is wrong.
Home Selling Tip: Forget What You Know About Winter Listings
In fact, new findings suggest that selling your home in the winter can be truly advantageous—that it may actually be the best time to list.
Specifically, our data reveals that:
- Homes that are listed in winter have about a nine percent greater chance of selling.
- The homes listed in winter also sell, on average, a week faster than homes listed during other parts of the year.
- Finally, these homes tend to sell for 1.2 percentage points more when you compare to the list price.
Note that these findings have held true across the board, in markets around the country.
And, they represent a fairly stunning break from real estate convention, yet the implications are pretty clear: If you’re looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, and for the best price, you’d be wise to list it during the winter season.
Why is Winter So Opportune?
You may be wondering: Why this incredible shift in the conventional home-selling wisdom? There are a few factors that are worth considering.
While casual shoppers hibernate during winter, the more motivated shoppers stick around.
Simply put, the people who come tour your home during the chilly months of winter—when they could be somewhere cozy and warm—are serious buyers. They are people truly eager to find their next dream home, and to close on it sooner rather than later.
Those serious shoppers have more limited options.
At the same time, a lot of sellers think what you might have thought, up until just now—that winter isn’t a very good time to list. Because fewer people list during the winter, your property is bound to garner some more attention.
Technology also plays a role.
Something else to consider is that shoppers don’t actually have to venture out into the chilly elements to explore new listings; apps and real estate websites make it easier than ever for individuals to review their options from the comforts of home, only having to venture out when they come across something that really excites them. This has made winter house-hunting far more viable than it used to be.
Other factors may also contribute.
On top of these issues, there are also other trends—including the forecast of higher loan rates—that have given buyers a bee in their bonnet, and made the colder months much more opportune for those listing.
Tips on Selling Your Home This Winter
Given all of these points, there is clearly some merit in listing your home this winter. The buyers are out there; they’re motivated; and with minimal competition, you have a good shot to make your home truly stand out.
As you consider listing your home for the winter, keep these seasonal home selling tips in mind.
- Seasonal décor is acceptable, so long as it’s within reason. You may want to decorate for the holidays, for instance, and that’s fine. It’s good to make your property seem festive and inviting. Just don’t go overboard. Keep your home clean and uncluttered, and avoid decorations that cause your space to feel smaller.
- Keep up with curb appeal.Even though the summer lawncare season is over, there are still some steps you can take to make the front of your home look appealing—like keeping leaves raked, pulling out dead plants, and ensuring your home gets paint touch-ups wherever they are needed.
- Make your home feel cozy.Make it an enticing space for winter house hunters. Keep the thermostat turned up to a reasonable level. And consider having some cookies or other treats on the counter for potential buyers.
- Remember that the normal home selling rules still apply.Taking good photographs for the Web, doing virtual home tours, keeping the place neat and tidy at all times—these real estate basics are important no matter the season.
With these tips for selling your home, you can make the winter months truly count—and in doing so, you can take advantage of one of the year’s best times for home sales!