Although it may seem odd, listing in the winter months can be advantageous for sellers. Statistically, there are indeed more buyers in the spring market. However, there are also more homes for sale, including properties similar to yours. With more competition for the pool of buyers, your chances of finalizing a deal may actually be reduced. Here are several reasons to list in January or February.
Many families check their finances at year end and start planning their tax returns. And, because of the holiday festivities, it’s often the time for discussions and decisions about gifting, inheritance, upgrading to a larger home or downsizing to a smaller one and homeownership versus renting. Whether it’s a new buyer who moves quickly or a previously active buyer who re-engages, these house hunters are around in January and February and will look at your home if it’s for sale.
Because of online advertising, buyers look at listings all day, every day. They have apps on their phone, get listings texted and emailed to them, and don’t care about the time of year. They realize the home won’t show as well in the dead of winter, so providing photos of your home during these times of year will enable buyers to envision it in the warmer seasons.
Buyers looking in January and February are serious. They know what they want, have often been at it for many months and are tired of the real estate hunt. This is your target buyer and, in part, they’re why it’s better to list in January than to wait until spring. Your property will certainly stand out if it’s the only one like it listed.
Offering your home for sale in the “offseason” means less competition which changes the market’s supply-and-demand balance. The demand is far greater than the supply. And, because of the reduced inventory, the seller can often take a little more time to consider offers and negotiate a higher price.