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. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is that homes are bought and sold year-round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to buy or sell a home.

Some sellers get the impression that if they sell in the winter, they have to move in the winter, too. In cases where a family is looking for winter recreation property this may hold true, but having a flexible possession date can be very attractive to buyers as well.

Generally, if buyers don’t like house-hunting in freezing temperatures, they’re not going to want to move in the winter, either. Negotiating a closing date in the spring can allow time for sellers to find their perfect next home without the drastic pressure from a quick closing on their current property. This is something to keep in mind, whether you plan to buy or sell first.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the advantages to buying or selling a home during the offseason!


What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So, while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!



In the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. Serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.

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.



One aspect that’s not to be overlooked during this time is having the right agent working for you. 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.

During the winter months, Grey Highlands sees a peak in visitors, who come for the skiing. Some try to rent, but many are looking to buy in the area. While they’re up for a weekend or the Holiday break, they’ll try to view a few properties.

Make sure your agent has a good online marketing strategy. Regardless of how serious they are, not many people want to spend time walking and driving around in -20 temperatures. This is where a virtual tour, 3D dollhouse view and other interactive tools can really be of value, allowing serious buyers to view your home virtually before coming to see it in person. People coming up from the city, hoping to check out a few properties while enjoying the slopes, will greatly appreciate being able to get a feel for the property before they drive up. It can help get your property on the buyers’ ‘short list’, and enable them to make a quick decision on buying while they’re still in the area.

Also, we find that other real estate related professionals in our network – including inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers – are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.



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 in their scheduling.

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the off-season. Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an off-season move.



Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key, but often overlooked, advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough. That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.



Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantage of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Give Sea & Ski a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and soon you could be in your new home!



  1. Redfin –
  2. Top Resume –
  3. National Association of Realtors –
  4. Angie’s List –
  5. Build Direct –
  6. National Association of Realtors –