Sellers Get More for Their Homes in the Winter
It’s a fact, sellers get more for their homes in the winter so stop waiting — go ahead and put your home on the market. Even now, with temperatures dropping, airports bustling and retailers still prepping holiday deals, it’s a good time to sell.
In fact, Greg Jaeger, vice president at USAA Bank and former real estate agent, says waiting could decrease potential buyers, especially if mortgage rates increase soon and price some out of the market. Delaying a sale also could increase your competition and stress.
“Those who sell their homes in the winter can reap financial and emotional benefits since they are not waiting until everyone else is trying to sell,” Jaeger says.
Your home has a greater chance of standing out from the crowd in the winter months, December through February. In the summer, you have to compete with other sellers looking to lure buyers expecting deals. To be sure, sales trends are different among colder and warmer states. And summer is often a more ideal time for families with young children to plan moves before school starts. However, you may be overlooking another group of buyers, Jaeger said.
“During the summer, buyers look like families. In the winter they look like investors,” he said.
Sellers often are able to ask more for their homes in winter, Jaeger said. A study by online brokerage firm Redfin found average sellers earn above their asking price December through March than they do in the summer months. In addition, in winter months a home is on the market for an average of 26 days, compared to 33 days in non-winter seasons, according to Redfin’s data.
There’s a certain ecosystem to the home buying process, which includes realtors, home inspectors, appraisers, the title company and the bank processing the loan. That ecosystem is tense when activity is the busiest, Jaeger said. In peak buying season, there’s overwhelming demand to process transactions, with potentially an overwhelmed system for processing them.
“You can help reduce the typical home buying and selling stress by selling your home during the winter ‘shoulder season’ and working with experts who really understand your needs,” he said.
Those needs often are more complex when the military is involved. While the military’s Permanent Change of Station season typically prompts many military families to sell their homes during the busy summer months, duty can call in the winter too.
“Working with an experienced real estate agent, who focuses on serving the military community, can help keep extra stress at bay,” he said.