As the seasons change, you may be thinking about what your life will look like next year. It starts to happen late Fall and early Winter. We ponder whether we should move to a better school system, get a bigger house for the growing family, or downsize to a simpler lifestyle.
Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus waiting until Spring.
1. Demand is Strong
Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that buyers are still out in force looking for their dream home. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!
2. There Is Less Competition Now
Housing supply is still under the level for a normal market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market in the Spring. The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
3. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 18.1% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with a low interest rate right now. Rates are projected to rise by this time next year.
4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you thought to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
5. Serious Buyers
Buyers who venture out in cold or nasty weather are often more motivated buyers who have to move, not just tire kickers who are curious. Often those buyers are relocating from out of the area to start a new job the first of the year. Or they are investors who want a year end closing for tax purposes. Even though showings may be fewer in numbers, they are often higher quality showings. Many sellers appreciate having quality showings over quantity showings this time of year.
6. List Price to Sell Price Increases in the Winter
As with all seasons, the initial list price often makes or breaks the ability to sell. In today’s information rich world, buyers are online researching values and comparable sales. Most buyers quickly dismiss a property if it is priced over market value.
A recent national study featured in REALTOR magazine states,
“sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November.”
For homes listed during the winter months, it helps to add elements of warmth and color so a home doesn’t feel dreary or gray. Outside, add color with cold weather plants like pansies, cabbage, or hollies with red berries. Inside, fresh flowers add a welcoming feel. Indoor fireplaces or exterior firepits can be staged with firewood. Lights should be left on for showings and for buyers who may be driving by to check out the exterior.
Reasonable holiday decor or seasonal scents like fresh cut pine, baked cookies or cider simmering can create a pleasant showing experience. The changing seasons and holidays often invoke positive emotional triggers in buyers, adding another great reason to considering a winter sale!
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.