Happy winter! If you’ve lived in Barrie for at least one cold season, you know that we’re used to snow days, keeping an extra shovel handy, and trucking through deep snow on our coffee run. Sure, you can think about your toes freezing, but what about the beauty of the first large snowfall? The quiet and still air outside, counting the snowflakes on our kids’ gloves and taking a sip of a warm beverage as you stroll along the waterfront to admire the holiday lights.
What is something you probably aren’t thinking about in the winter? Selling your home.
That’s not our first wish when it comes to the timing of packing up your belongings and moving. But, BUNDLE UP! There are pros and cons to selling a home in the winter. So, top that coffee up and kick back with this quick read.
This is why you would WANT to sell your home in the winter
Inventory for buyers is low. That means they will be more motivated to firm up a home purchase faster, and your house will stand out. If you live in a highly desirable area, you can attract a lot of attention from homebuyers in the winter months. You might even say these homebuyers want to live in your neighbourhood without having to compete in the spring housing market so they are ready to shop earlier than others.
You can pull on the heartstrings of potential buyers. What do I mean by this exactly? Get your home all spiffed up in your favourite holiday finery to trigger strong emotions about the holidays. Make it as “homey” as possible so that potential buyers see the layout and character of the home in a whole new light. Speaking of the holidays, potential home buyers may also receive a holiday bonus, which they could put towards their downpayment on their home.
Potential homebuyers are serious in the winter. It’s far less likely for someone to go “window shopping” for a new home when it’s cold outside. This means that viewings or open houses will be worthwhile to hold inviting these potential buyers into your home. You’ll rest easy knowing potential buyers attending will be motivated buyers.
Why might you NOT want to sell a home in the winter?
Bidding wars will be few and far between compared to the spring real estate market. With fewer buyers out there, it means you’re less likely to have multiple offers on your property.
Lots of winter maintenance. Buyers may notice how big the driveway is and think about all the snow they would have to shovel. Or see that the street was the last one in the neighbourhood to get plowed. If we have a green Christmas, the outside perimeter could make the house look “muddy” and “tired” to potential buyers in the colder months. This may not be attractive to the home buyer and could cause them to judge the book by its cover.
Do you want to move during the cold winter months? Unless you have a long closing date extending into the springtime, you will have to pack up all your stuff and move in the cold. To play devil’s advocate, if you move in the summer, you may have to move during a thunderstorm or a heatwave. There are pros and cons for both. If you’re still on the fence about the pros and cons check out my previous article all about BUYING a home in the wintertime here.
The final question to ask yourself is: should you move THIS winter?
You may be thinking, “Hey, Darren, interest rates JUST went up.” well, during the pandemic, interest rates were extremely low. However, not everyone was financially, emotionally, or situationally ready to move. Although interest rates have increased, who knows what the market will look like in the spring? Sometimes you wait too long and miss your chance to make a fantastic offer on the home of your dreams. Some industry experts are even saying this is the bottom of the market and that now is the best time to buy. My advice to you? Don’t wait, or you may be waiting forever. Give me a call at 705-315-0516 or book an appointment to get yourself pre-approved for the mortgage you need before you start house hunting. Who knows, maybe your house will sell in a day, or maybe you’ll find your dream home next week… Either way, it’s best to be prepared so you’re one step ahead of your competition.