Why Putting Off Your Listing Until Spring Could Actually Cost You
Thinking of selling your home and don’t want to wait until the housing market starts to heat up this year? The conventional, traditional wisdom would warn you off. The housing market doesn’t really heat up until summer, or so the experts in the housing market would say. They would also say something like, “People don’t really want to buy homes while the weather is still bad and listing your home in the winter just makes you look desperate.”
Well, the conventional wisdom, while it does come from years of experience coalescing into received advice, is often wrong. There are several reasons why everything everyone tells you about listing in the winter months could be wrong in your case. Regardless, there are several reasons why listing your home in February could be the best choice you could make, and why waiting longer could cost you.
In this post, we’ll break down some of the best reasons to list in February, and give you some pointers on how to make it work to your advantage.
February Sees Motivated Buyers
One of the best things about selling a home in the offseason is that the buyers that are out looking at homes are motivated to buy. Very few people get their kicks out of attending open houses for a look around in the middle of winter. You may not get the same amount of traffic, or even the same amount of offers on your home if you list it in February (or another of the winter months), but the traffic you get will be all serious buyers. Because of this, any offers that come in will likely come from well-qualified, serious parties.
People who go shopping for a new home in the middle of winter generally do so out of necessity. Buyers who are buying out of necessity are far more likely to overlook a few things that either don’t fit into their idea of a dream home, or will need repair or renovation in years to come–a good reason why listing a home that may be a little less than perfect in the winter months can be a good idea, but more on that later.
February Sees a Real Lack of Competition
Another fantastic benefit of listing your home in the middle of the offseason is that your home will be competing with far fewer listings for the pool of available, motivated buyers. Depending on which part of the country you are living in, this difference in competition can be tremendous. Generally speaking, the worse the winter weather generally is in your neck of the woods, the less the competition there will be during the winter months.
Factor in what is unique about your home – location, amenities, architecture, etc. – and you may be competing against very few other listings. One of the wonderful things about conventional wisdom is that most people heed it without questioning it. This can make bucking tradition a lucrative endeavor for those willing to take a little risk, and to view it as a potential opportunity.
Selling in the Late Winter Can Be Lucrative, if You Do It Right
Capitalizing on the benefits of a February listing can be done, but it has to be done right. Simply because you’re competing against fewer listings for a small and dedicated pool of serious buyers doesn’t mean that you can afford to be lazy when it comes to preparing your home for viewing.
If you want to maximize the potential of listing in the winter, then you need to make sure that your home is prepared to welcome visitors as a refuge against the winter weather. Motivated buyers, as mentioned above, may be willing to overlook a few issues, but you will need to provide them with a sense of home for them to make an offer you’d want to accept.