Buying and Selling a Home in the Winter

Many people equate spring and summer as the best time to buy or sell a home. In the spring school is wrapping up, so if you're moving to a new area there won't be the hassle of kids changing school mid-year. In either spring or summer it can be much more pleasant to tour homes and visit open houses as well. There is often more competition for the homes available, so sellers might be able to demand a little more.

Good advantages for buyers

There are less people looking during the fall and winter. This can mean being able to offer on a home that would otherwise have multiple bids. In some circumstances prices might not be as firm, although this isn't always the case in a desirable location.

With seasonal volume down lenders can be more committed to making your financing come through. Once you do have an offer accepted scheduling inspections can be easier and the inspectors are apt to have a bit more time to be thorough.

So what are the advantages of selling in the late fall or winter?

For sellers the fact that there is less competition also means there not only less buyers looking, but there are generally less homes for sale. This puts more of a spotlight on those that are available. If your home isn't the shiniest diamond it might sparkle a bit more.

Buyers who are looking tend to be more serious. The are willing to brave the elements to find what they need. So while showing traffic might seem slow, those that are taking the time to view your home are actively pursuing a purchase. The casual home shoppers, those that really aren't in the market, decrease during the cooler and wetter months.

The upside can be a cleaner and quieter sale while still getting the value you desire.