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Do Homes Sell In The Winter?


This is a question that is asked a lot by Buyers and Sellers at this time of year, especially here in the Poconos where winter conjures up images of being snowed in, huddled around the fireplace, drinking cocoa by candlelight.  The fact is, though, that we do manage to live fairly normal lives here in the boondocks, snow and all =)   March_2007_003

In a normal market, believe it or not, sales through the winter are fairly steady.  Traditionally my best income comes in in the second half of the year.  I am not sure what makes this so here in Monroe County, but the dead of winter does not mean sales are dead.  In a normal market.  Honestly I don't know what to expect this year as it has been anything but a normal market in 2007.

There are lots of reasons why people may choose to take their house off the market for the holidays and re-list in the spring...probably the main reason is just pure convenience.  Selling a home is tough, especially if you live in it.  And keeping it in showing condition over the holidays and through the slop of winter can be tough.  But, if you are able to stick it out and deal with the hassle, you could be rewarded with a sale, yes, even at this time of year.

One of my best-est, favoritest clients sent me this article and I thought it was interesting enough to share (thanks, Bri).  Unfortunately, I can't find the source to give proper credit, or a link.  If you're the owner, please send me an email so I can give you some link-love! The comments in parentheses are mine:


11 Great Reasons to.... LIST YOUR HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS (and through the subsequent Pocono Winter!)

1 - People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers. (Those who finagle their appointments in between January snow storms are serious too!  One does not trudge through the snow to look at homes because there is nothing better to do)

2- Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you. (Truly, even this year when inventory is up there are not all that many really nice listings on the market right now.  Those who were listed late summer and fall are now off the market and waiting for spring.)

3 - Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home.  Less demand means less money for you. (Competition is bad, very very bad.)

4 - Houses show better when (tastefully) decorated for the Holidays.  (Save the romper room look for your new house.)

5 - Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays so they are more likely to pay your price. (Nothing like a beautiful new home as a gift for the family!)

6 - Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than during regular weekdays.

7 - Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax purposes.

8 - January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market during the holidays to capture that market.

9 - You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays. (Keep the restrictions to a minimum if possible, though.  As stated previously, buyers out looking at this time of year are pretty serious.  So accommodating them can be in your best interest.)

10 - You can sell now for more money and we will provide for (aka negotiate into the contract) a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year.

11 - By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring when many more houses are on the market for less money!! This will allow you to sell high and buy low. (Life doesn't get any better than that, baby!!)



Great article Lisa!

Selling a house would have to be the same as every thing else: availability when the buyer is looking, holiday season or not!

Of course, here in Australia, we're back to front - just coming into summer!

The area we live in gets quite cold, so when we're looking at real estate, we take both freezing winters, and sweltering summers, into account!


Joey Marino

Great Post. Homes do sell better in the warm months, but I can't complain about winter home sales either. I typically spend less time driving around in the winter because buyers seem to know what they are looking for. Also, serious buyers consider winter the best time to buy, perhaps they believe inventory is the highest?

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