Last Updated on February 8, 2024
Typically, the spring season is when many homebuyers decide to list their home, but listing your home before the market starts to heat up may pay off, especially this year. Thinking about making a move? Here’s your ultimate guide to selling your home this winter.
Reasons why selling in the winter is actually a good thing
First things first, we’ll explore why this time of year is a great time to list your home. Later, we’ll explore tactics to position your home well and attract buyers this winter.
Mortgage rates are attracting more buyers
With mortgage rates on their way down right now, more and more buyers are stepping out in search of homes. This pent-up demand will be a good thing for sellers that decide to list now, as buyers pre-approved and ready to move will be eager to get into a home.
Mortgage rates are expected to stay in the mid-sixes during 2024.
Months supply of inventory (MSI) shows us how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes to sell. While MSI is up significantly from the ultra-low supply we saw during the pandemic housing market, it’s still low enough to be classified as a seller’s market.
In our area, MSI varies, but on average, we’re sitting at a little over three months of inventory. The market doesn’t shift to be a more balanced one until we get closer to five months of inventory.
All of this to say, as supply continues to be low and demand is at an all-time high, you can’t overlook the winter as a great time to list your home.
Not as much competition
With competition as scarce as leaves on a tree this time of year, your winter listing may look much more attractive to buyers who have very few houses on the market to compare it to.
The spring real estate market can be particularly hard for sellers with less-than-perfect homes. Sure, spring brings out the buyers, but it also brings out the sellers, too. This means you’ll have more competition, and buyers will have more homes to compare yours against. If your house isn’t in perfect condition, buyers are more likely to notice and get picky.
Homes may sell more quickly during winter
Gone are the days of homes selling over night, but as the winter months press on, the scarcity of inventory may help your home sell faster. The latest data from the first week in February shows homes spent an average of 4 days less on the market compared to this same time last year. Remember, in any market, the best-priced homes that are reasonably maintained and well staged and marketed will sell in a timely manner.
Buyers are often more serious
Sure, there may be fewer buyers compared to spring, but winter buyers tend to be more serious. And while it may be inconvenient, it’s crucial not to deny showings, as that could be a missed opportunity.
If you want to sell your home in the off-season, the buyer has to come first. You’ll need to work with your Realtor to devise a strategy for showings, even during snowy days, when buyers might take advantage of being off work for a few hours.
Tips to sell your home fast this winter
Consider a pre-inspection
A pre-inspection is a great idea to understand the condition of your home and have the opportunity to fix any glaring issues before your home goes on the market. Get ahead of any buyer objections by scheduling a pre-inspection now, before you list.
Stage to perfection
Remember this: a staged home is a sold home. Carefully crafting each room to its full potential can often make all the difference. Here are some key things to think about, especially when selling in the winter.
Curb appeal: Don’t overlook the outside just because of the season. Make sure any leaves on the ground are gone and add fresh mulch to garden beds. It never hurts to add some color by planting some cool-season perennials.
If you don’t have a green thumb, consider faux evergreen bushes to flank your door. Add a wreath to your front door and consider adding seasonal touches like a snowman or Valentine’s-related items to enhance your curb appeal. Always pressure wash your home, regardless of the season and don’t skip the driveway.
Indoors: Clear the clutter, remove family photographs, and repaint in neutral tones if necessary.
Clean out closets and any storage areas to have at least 1/3 of the space free, to give the perception of ample space. Kitchen and bathroom counters should be free from any clutter.
Make your home inviting and cozy: Winter is a great time to kick the cozy factor up a notch. Light candles and turn on your fireplace. Consider flameless candles for a nice effect if you don’t want to leave candles burning for too long.
Don’t turn on overhead light if you can help it, but instead turn on lamps. If your rooms, like your living and dining rooms, don’t have at least two lamps, bring in more. Replace all overhead light with a warm white light, rather than a cooler-toned light. Look for lights with a 2700 kelvin temperature.
Lastly, make sure your home has some live greenery in each room. Go to the grocery store and buy florals for some rooms and add living indoor plants in others; you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Stage the outdoors: Just because it’s chilly doesn’t mean buyers won’t want to dream of what the outdoors will be like in your home during the warmer months. Go ahead and stage all outdoor areas.
Bring in faux greenery if you have to, and make sure all outdoor furniture is clean and inviting. Shop for fresh throw pillows for outdoor furniture and add a cozy blanket or two.
Read more articles on selling your home here.
About Allen Tate Realtors
Allen Tate Realtors has been helping our clients achieve their real estate goals since 1957 and is the #1 real estate company in the Carolinas. With local roots and global connections, thanks to our partnership with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, our real estate agents can provide their customers with superior service, unparalleled connections, and vast market knowledge. Allen Tate provides real estate, mortgage, insurance, and relocation services throughout the entire homeownership lifecycle.
Allen Tate Companies is a proud partner of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the largest independent, family-owned real estate company in the country. With more than 13,000 sales associates and staff members across the combined companies, our agents are the best of the best.