Spring and summer seasons are traditionally the favored time to list a home, but the winter months also offer exceptional opportunities for sellers. The benefits to selling during the off season include a chance to encounter more serious buyers and less competition from the lower inventory. Winter provides an occasion for homeowners to accentuate a home's ability to deal with cold weather, which can give buyers a warm fuzzy feeling, and it's an ideal time to appeal to buyers' financial needs.
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Make Way For The Serious Buyers
According to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of home buyers find their homes online first, and this can be done regardless of the weather. Open houses are popular year round, but the colder, harsher weather tends to bring out only the more serious buyers. If someone's braving the freezing temps and snow, there's a good chance this person is serious about making a purchase.
Since the warmer months are the most popular time to list a home, the market can become crowded with an abundance of home options. Consider the basic law of supply and demand: less inventory during the wintertime makes any home on the market more desirable and enticing. Low inventory means buyers don't have the flexibility to be as picky, especially if there are timelines to meet.
Winter Home Readiness
Central Oregon has experienced extreme winters over the past few years and this creates hesitation in potential buyers that are wary of the great Snowpocalypse. Cold weather provides an opportunity to ease buyers' minds and show off how a home can handle the harsh winter elements. It's a great time to highlight a south-facing driveway where snow melts off more rapidly or shorter driveways and walking paths, which equates to less snow shoveling. Show off a winter-ready roof and make sure to point out how the heat tape on your eaves prevents snow buildup and ice dams.
A Cozy Appeal
The holidays can be an emotional time for people, and nothing says comfort like walking into a warm, well-lit, cinnamon-spice smelling home with the fireplace rolling. This ambiance begs for buyers to curl up and stay awhile. Remember to show off the outdoor fire pit or hot tub. Keep up on winter maintenance by keeping walkways, driveways and decks free from snow and ice, which will invite buyers inside.
Tax Breaks, Year End Bonuses and Relocation
Some buyers are looking to utilize tax benefits of a home purchase prior to the year's end. Holiday bonuses can encourage buyers to step off the fence and make the leap. Slower winter months are a popular time to make a transition and relocate for work or quality of life reasons.
Easier & Quicker Sales Process
Even though the total number of home sales slows down, the infrastructure remains ready to help. Lenders have fewer loans to focus on, turnaround time on home inspections is reduced and the title and escrow companies have fewer closings to process. This all adds up to a faster, smoother and more personal transaction for all parties involved.