Why Sell Your Home In Winter?
3 Powerful Reasons
Why would anyone want to sell their home in the winter? With all of the snow and clearing the driveway, it seems really troublesome – Besides, there can’t be too many people out, looking for a home, in this cold - cold weather.
Actually, there are three very powerful reasons why some will find listing their home for sale in the winter.
In our West Central, Michigan area, for the months of December through February, there were under 200 homes listed for sale for each of those months. And, of those listings, 45-47% went under a contract within 4 months (including the month it was listed).
By contrast, March through May records show an average of 436 Listings with slightly lower sales rates in the first 4 months.
When you consider the conventional wisdom of when to place your home for sale, these are startling numbers, but they are significant and indicate some realities of listing a home in the winter.
Here are 3 powerful reasons
Powerful Reason #1: Competition
Competition is the name of the game. When your home is placed up on the Multiple Listing Service, potential buyers will be comparing it – right away – with your competition. Naturally, you want to be a stand-out in your competitive market.
You have a better chance of selling your home in the first four months if you list in the winter primarily because you have less than one half of the competition, when compared to spring time listing. With half of the competition, you have a better opportunity to become the “big fish in the little pond” and stand out as the best prospect for the buyers.
In the winter months, there are a very large number of home owners who are waiting on the sidelines until spring. Spring is known as the “Selling Season” for many Realtors. The issue here is the fact that, when these home owners do finally list their homes, there will be an avalanche of homes coming on the market. Many of these new listings will become lost in the pond and merely be “little fish in the big pond”.
A quality, well thought out, competitive market analysis is an absolute must before you list at any time. But, as for the competition, you may get the competitive edge when you list in the winter months.
Powerful Reason #2: Serious Buyers
The issue with “Serious Buyers” is simply a weather related issue. So, secondly, those who are looking for a new home in the dead of winter are more serious about buying a home than those looking in the spring and summer. Who wants to go out and push your way through the snow in order to see the waterfront area of a home?
The majority of people coming around in the winter will, most probably, have a more urgent need to move than those who shop around in the spring and summer. Perhaps there is a new job and just moving into the area that causes the need for a home at this time. Substantial expense can be involved with a move and, if a family is going to move into a new home, it becomes an issue of “the sooner the better” for those moving in.
By some comparison, the summer will get you more “tire kickers” just looking to see what’s there. And, there is the potential that, in the summer, some of the people going through your home are not really serious, or potentially unqualified, buyers. As a seller, you really don’t want these people coming through your home anyway.
Powerful Reason #3: Higher Selling Price
Above, is a short statement about a quality, well thought out, competitive market analysis. This analysis will provide the homeowner with the information necessary to make a sound financial decision with regards to the value of his home. It is important to price your home so it will compete with similar homes if you want it to sell reasonably quickly. It is the responsibility of the owner to make that decision.
The Realtor is responsible for the gathering of the information and providing that information to the home owners. Without this information, the homeowner will be pricing their home based upon their “understandably biased” beliefs of the home. It is important this is properly completed, because the listing price of the home will be the second thing potential buyers will see. The first thing seen, of course, will be the pictures.
Finally, third, and just as important, is the selling price of your home. Doing a good job with the listing price will get you the fastest response and the top selling price. Because of the larger number of homes competing for the same buyers, the law of supply and the demand will bring down the summer sales price as compared to the winter sales price.
Thinning the competition is always an advantage for the seller. It can provide less room for a buyer to negotiate the price down and result in receiving more money for your home. This is, of course, if the home is properly priced. If the price is too high for the buyers, they may move on. However, in the winter, there may be nowhere else for buyers to move.
So, Competition – Serious Buyers – And Higher Selling Price, are three very powerful reasons to list your home in the winter months.
Professional Realtor Solutions To Profits
Anytime you are going to list your property for sale, you must surely consider whether or not you are going to use a Realtor’s services. Most all Realtors have access to the local, and national, Multiple Listing Service systems. Some, like Coldwell Banker Schmidt, are associated with up to 900 different property websites. These websites “spread the word” about the sale of your property. Almost as soon as the property is listed on the MLS, it gets placed up on these other websites.
The use of the MLS is an important part of marketing your property. However, there are other methods of marketing a home that is used by some Realtors. It is often these less traveled avenues of promotion that will bring about a faster and more profitable result for you. The short list of some of these methods would be direct mail, Facebook advertising, and Craigslist. These extra methods of marketing are done solely at the discretion, and expense, of the Realtor.
Earlier, we discussed the picture of the home being the first thing a potential buyer will see. This picture needs to be an extremely attractive picture of the home. Your Realtor must take great care to see to it you have the best, and most appropriate, pictures to post to the MLS system. You can help influence the result of the pictures with appropriate “staging” of your home. A Realtor will help guide you through this process.
When your home is being shown to the various potential buyers, your Realtor can influence which buyers actually see your home.
To begin, the List Realtor could place a note in the listing, for all agents to see, that you want only “pre-qualified buyers” to be shown the house. This could reduce the number of people coming through the home. And, there may be qualified buyers in that group. So, some serious thought must be given to this decision. Keep in mind that, listing in the winter should get only serious buyers anyway.
When someone is in the process of looking at homes, all realtors will suggest that the prospective buyer first learn how large of a mortgage they are qualified to get. Many buyers have found they qualified for one particular level, but they did not really like the resulting monthly payments. Therefore, they chose to look at homes a little lower in value
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Negotiating the Price
As sellers, you are looking for offers from buyers. Actually, the more offers you can get, the better. In our area, the practice of asking competing buyers to give their best and highest offer is beginning to return – occasionally. This is done when the realtor has received more than one offer on a property and has shown all offers to the sellers. The sellers may ask for the highest and best or, they may choose the offer they like best. The Realtor will inform the sellers of their estimated closing costs and the attributes of the offers.
When there is a single offer, it will generally come in lower than the list price. There are other areas of negotiation as well.
- Buyer’s request for seller to contribute to their closing costs
- Seller to provide a home warranty
- Date of possession
- Land Surveys and much much more...
The Realtor will be able to help with ideas and alternatives for the seller to facilitate a good decision.
Unrealistic Buyer Demands
There are times when the buyers can become overpowering with their needs. They can request and require a significant amount of information, documentation and work. This can become trying at times, but you must keep focused at your end goal.
You are looking to sell your home and they want to buy it. When you were buying a home, you wanted to be a careful as possible. That is what the buyer may be doing.
This is a financial transaction and you must keep your goal in mind. Do not let your personal feelings about your home affect your financial decision. When you listed your home, you compared its value to other homes like it. It is reasonable to expect a similar result as the others. But it is not always the case. At some point, you may come down to the decision of whether or not you want to sell the home.
Don't wait till spring to get your rewards out of your home. Call today and let's get started.
Terry Reeves - Reeves Realty Solutions.com
Coldwell Banker Schmidt