Winter is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Contrary to popular belief, the winter season offers unique opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Let’s uncover the top five reasons why winter is the perfect time for buying or selling a home.


1. Less Competition

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. Inventory in the fall and winter months can be significantly lower. The benefit of listing in the winter is that you will have fewer comparable homes to compete with. Research suggests that homes listed in winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above the asking price than any other season. As a seller, this means standing out in a less crowded market, and for buyers, it’s a prime time to negotiate a great deal. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!


2. Motivations Are High

Research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year. Serious buyers and sellers stay active during the winter and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. Whether it’s job relocations, life changes, or simply the right time for a move, the offseason sees more motivated players in the market. In the spring and summer months, you’re more likely to encounter buyers who are just testing the waters, and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. If you prefer to deal with serious, highly motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.


3. Personalized Attention

During the offseason, real estate professionals have more time to dedicate to each client. Many agents will take advantage of the slower seasonal pace as a time to get away and leave the area. Having someone local, who is available to look after showings themselves, in case the buyer’s agent is away, makes your property more accessible and can increase your chances of receiving an offer. Title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers, are all able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the spring and summer months.


4. Cost Savings

Winter moves come with financial benefits. Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility with their scheduling. Plus, contractors and service providers offer competitive rates during the offseason, and home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter.  Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive during the offseason. If you wait until the spring and summer months for any of these services, you could be paying a premium.


5. Easier Curb Appeal

Listing your home during the winter months offers an often overlooked advantage, less maintenance for curb appeal. Curb appeal plays a huge role in attracting potential buyers. When listing a home during the peak season, it is often advised that frequent mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming be implemented into the property’s maintenance schedule. It’s also recommended to plant flowers to brighten the exterior of the home, which requires a good amount of attention to have them grow and flourish properly. While sellers are still encouraged to maintain their properties during the winter months, it is likely they won’t be spending as much time outdoors maintaining their home’s exterior as they would if it was listed in the warmer months.


If you’re considering buying or selling at all, it may benefit you to take advantage of the unique opportunities the winter season provides you for success. Every client’s circumstances are different, whether you need to move quickly, or you simply want to reap the benefits, the winter is a great time to enter the market. So, if you think you’re ready to make a move, contact us now for a free consultation and get started on your journey to a successful home sale or purchase.

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