When it comes to listing their homes for sale in the late fall and winter months, we hear many of the same questions and concerns from clients. Chances are if you’ve thought of selling your home recently, you’ve had few questions come up too.
With all the conflicting information floating around online and in magazines, it can be hard to know what to believe. Lucky for you, you’ve found this article and no longer have to wonder! Today we’re going to address the top concerns we hear from homeowners in our local market about listing in the fall and winter.
Are home prices are depressed in winter?
Home prices hit sellers right where it hurts. If your home is overpriced, buyers may not even bother to look at it. If your home is underpriced, you’ll worry that you’re leaving money on the table. The key is to price your home reasonably for the current market.
You should feel comfortable with the price and understand how the market and comparable homes affect your home’s value. Pricing a home is one part art and two parts science. Incorporating good data into your pricing decision is essential. With that, it’s important to understand that it’s also usually a different mix of homes selling in the late fall and winter months than sell in spring and summer. And that affects the pricing data.
Though there are some very motivated families, many buyers and sellers with children aren’t actively looking or selling during the school season. This results in more smaller, entry-level homes selling in the winter than larger family homes. And smaller homes typically mean lower prices. Even Forbes recognizes that the trend of lower prices in winter months isn’t all true price depreciation.
Are there even any buyers during the holidays?
You may have heard that there isn’t anyone shopping for property during the holidays and worry that no one will even see your listing. Put those fears to rest! It’s simply not true. People shop for houses during every season, especially when inventory is low, and boy has the market been tight here in Southern Oregon! There’s plenty of buyers still searching for their dream house.
Yes; there are fewer buyers hunting for their next home during the winter than in spring and summer months. However, the buyers who are looking and choose to continue their search despite the weather and the holidays are very motivated. Most of these folks are serious buyers and the percentage of “tire kickers” is drastically reduced. Think quality, not quantity. 😊
I won’t get any serious offers.
See paragraph above. You can still get serious offers during the fall and winter months. There will always be people who want to lowball sellers even when the property is priced fairly. But that’s not the majority of buyers.
Most of the buyers interrupting their holiday season to find a home are serious. If your house is right for them and they’re working with a Realtor, buyers will take the time to run their own market analysis on your home and base their offer on those findings.
Now, if your home is overpriced, then you might get offers lower than you were hoping for. But that would be the case regardless of the season you list in and has nothing to do with winter shoppers. It’s just the market telling you that your price is too high.
My home’s curb appeal is lacking because the trees are bare and nothing is blooming.
HGTV has it right; curb appeal does help sell homes. But it isn’t a deal breaker in the way you might think. What’s a killer for sellers is an untidy or poorly maintained exterior and yard. Not a dormant winterscape.
Buyers understand that most plants and trees tend to bloom during the spring and summer. They don’t expect your yard to be lush and vibrant in the late fall or winter. They do expect it to be clean and trimmed back, but this is the case year-round.
If your yard is just gorgeous and you want to make sure buyers see the potential, take photos of your landscaping in full bloom and include a few shots with your online listing.
I heard that spring is the best time to sell; should I wait?
If there’s one thing we learned from the most recent recession, it’s that market value is dynamic. It’s a moving target. What IS true is that, historically, more buyers enter the market in the springtime. Including those elusive families looking for larger and pricier homes. However, there’s also an increase in competition.
So, what does that mean when it comes to selling your home? It means the best time to sell is when you are ready.
And when that time comes, your agent can help you assess the real market value of your home (it’s usually a range) and then together you can decide the price you want to list at. Regardless of whether you choose to sell in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, the concerns are primarily the same. You will want to list your home as close to market value as possible, keep it clean and tidy for showings, and stay positive and responsive to offers.
Do you have questions or concerns about selling your home that you didn’t see addressed? Leave a comment! Not comfortable sharing publicly or would like more specific advice about your property or how to find the house of your dreams in the Rogue Valley? Call, text or email our team.