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The Pros and Cons of Buying & Selling Real Estate in Winter

“If you’re thinking about selling a home, wait until it’s springtime.” That has been a rule of thumb when it comes to buying or selling winter real estate, especially in years past. It’s true that the warmer months were positioned as an ideal time to buy or sell real estate. However, the ongoing shifts in the real estate market — and the always-changing needs of buyers & sellers — may continue to change that mindset.

At first, the holiday season may not seem like an excellent time to make a change because it’s often a hectic time for most families due to increased social demands. In reality, winter home sales and purchases could be the right timing, depending on what matters most to you and your family.

Selling Real Estate in The Winter

Are you torn in between putting up your home for sale in the winter or waiting until the cold season has passed? Every year, a new wave of buyers is ready to buy homes. Looking at the rising winter home sales over the past few years, winter is an excellent time to sell. Here’s a comprehensive guide that will help ensure you’re better off focusing your efforts on selling real estate this winter. 

The Pros of the Winter Real Estate Market for Sellers

  • Buyers are Serious and Motivated: Since January is a big month for job relocations, buyers actively shopping for homes during the holidays are likely to be very motivated.
  • Fewer Homes on the Market Equals Less Competition: There’s less competition from other sellers due to fewer homes on the market in winter.
  • Festive Neighborhoods are Inviting: Winter affords you the chance to showcase your neighborhood as homey and inviting.
  • You Enjoy More Attention from Agents: You enjoy more attention from agents showing your home, since there are fewer listings.

The Cons of the Winter Real Estate Market for Sellers

  • Curb Appeal is Limited: Curb appeal is typically lacking in most homes during the colder months, thus making it a challenge for you to show off your home’s exterior.
  • You’re Less Likely to Get Multiple Offers: In the winter selling season, multiple-offer situations that pit multiple buyers against each other are less likely to occur. (But a well positioned home will always earn top market returns.)
  • The Winter Season Makes Some Home Flaws More Apparent: Flaws such as a dark or drafty home tend to show themselves more dramatically during the cold weather season.

Buying Real Estate in The Winter

Are you keen on buying a home during the holiday season? The winter housing market can extend you the chance to grab the right home. Due to a large number of sellers motivated by job moves or a life change, buying winter real estate affords you a greater chance at finding a more motivated seller.

Buying a home in the winter can be a smart choice. Our extensive buyers’ guide will help you navigate your home buying process successfully.

The Pros of Buying Real Estate in the Winter

  • Prices Moderate: During the winter, the peak of summer pricing often moderate, meaning that buying real estate during the winter can cost less than waiting for the rising spring market.
  • Movers Have Higher Availability: During winter, moving companies are not as busy as in the summer; thus, hiring one is very easy.
  • Quicker Transactions: In the winter, the greater availability of closing dates with attorneys, lenders and other parties make scheduling easier.
  • No Bidding Wars: Another plus for you as a buyer is that bidding wars are less likely to occur, thus allowing you to seal your deal quickly.

The Cons of Buying Real Estate in the Winter

  • Fewer Choices: With fewer homes on the winter market, you’ll have less choice when compared to the high season.
  • Inspecting the Home Becomes More Challenging: Due to the weather conditions, it may be challenging to inspect some parts of the house and landscape.
  • A Winter Move Requires More Organization: A move on a winter day may require more preparation and a little more planning than during the spring or summer months, especially if you’re trying to align holiday schedules and gatherings.

No matter your life transition, sometimes buying & selling during the winter months is part of your journey. Our team of Strategic Guides can help you find your path forward with confidence. Reach out to our team to start a conversation.

Updated October 2023

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