How to Sell Your House in Winter

It is a generally accepted belief that the spring is the peak time to sell your house. Families like to be able to make the transition when their children are out of school and prepared for the new school year.

However, what happens when you need to move earlier? When you don’t have a choice to wait, don’t worry, moving in the winter months has proven to not be as bad of a time to sell as originally thought.

Study Says to Sell in Winter
The results of one study may surprise you. Homes listed and sold from March 22, 2011 through March 21, 2013 were analyzed. The results showed that average sellers netted more than the asking price during the winter months like December, January, February, and March as compared to the months of June through November. That even includes cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago.

For example, in Chicago, the likelihood of selling your home within six months was in the winter. Second, was fall and then the spring and summer months came very close. Overall, winter listings showed to be 9% more likely to sell, up to 1 week faster, and sell for 1.2% more.

Motivated Sellers in Winter
What could impact this finding? Don’t most home buyers stop looking in the winter months?

That might be true for most home buyers, but not for serious buyers. These are people that need to move versus people who want to move. The reasons include, for example, those who need to move for a job, expand for a growing family, etc. Therefore, their needs give the advantage to the seller.

Paul Stone, an agent in Denver stated, “There are plenty of people who need to buy a home in the winter, whether it’s because of a job relocation or major family change, like a new baby. These buyers want to get into a home quickly, and are sometimes willing to pay top dollar.”

Strategies for Selling Your Home in Winter
If you have decided to sell your home in the winter, there are a few tips that can help you sell.

Strategy One: The first step is to make sure that all your heating and maintenance issues are functioning well. For example, make sure your furnace, HVAC, and roof are in top shape. In addition, you can clean the gutters, and change air filters. One question your winter home buyers will be wondering about is your heating costs. Having high efficient options in your home will go a long way.

Strategy Two: Another option to help prepare your home for a winter listing is to help offset the cold snowy days and overcast skies by creating a warm and bright look in your home. You can do this by giving your home basic landscaping enhancements by adding inviting holly or ivy.

In addition, Sacramento interior designer Kerrie Kelly suggests painting the interior of your house off-white throughout. She states this can set a consistent color palette and make the space feel larger.

Take Away
Selling your home in cold months has the advantage of marketing to motivated buyers. If you are looking to put your house on the market during the fall or winter months, please give us a call. We would be honored to help.