The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home During Winter
So, you’ve decided to sell your home during the wintertime. You’re probably aware the winter isn’t an ideal time to sell real estate. You’d be better off listing your property during the spring real estate market, right? Not necessarily. Selling your home during the winter has its ups and downs just like any other season. You just have to be aware of them to use them to your benefit as a home seller.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of selling your home during winter.
You may have heard of the term “motivated seller,” but you have heard of the term “motivated buyer”? A motivated seller is someone who wants to sell their home at a less than optimal time due to life circumstances. It could be job loss, job relocation, divorce or a death in the family. Whatever the reason, a motivated seller is listing their property in winter rather than in, say, the spring real estate market because they need or want to sell now.
It goes both ways. A motivated buyer is similar. A motivated buyer might be someone who is purchasing a property for any of the above mentioned reasons. The motivated buyer could also be a motivated seller themselves.
At least you may both be motivated. (You have to be to house hunt on those days when there’s a snowstorm outside and the mercury is well below zero.) As such, you’re more likely to be serious and hammer out a deal.
Contrary to popular belief, other real estate markets aren’t necessarily as competitive as Toronto and Vancouver. And even if they are, it can still work to your benefit during winter.
A big benefit of listing your property during the winter is less competition from fellow home sellers. A home buyer might be able to choose from six or seven properties in a neighbourhood in the spring, but due to the lack of inventory in the winter, your property may be the only one to choose from. If a buyer really wants to live in your neighbourhood, they may be willing to pay a premium for your property.
Getting More of Your Real Estate Agent’s Attention
Since winter tends to be a slower season for real estate, chances are your real estate agent will have more time on their hands. Instead of juggling a dozen clients, your agent may only have two or three other clients, which means plenty of one-on-one time. This also means your agent will have more time to market your property and show it off to prospective homebuyers.
The White Stuff
Unless you live in somewhere like Vancouver or Victoria, you’ll have to content with the “white stuff,” otherwise known as snow. It’s important to make sure your place is clear of snow and ice, not only to do a better job marketing your property, but for safety reasons.
If you aren’t currently living in your property, you’ll need to visit every so often and make sure the driveway and sidewalk are clear from snow and ice. The last thing you’d want is someone to slip and fall. Instead of an offer, you might have a lawsuit on your hands. Yikes!
Higher Home Heating Bill
If your real estate agent does a good job of marketing your property and it’s desirable, you should have a steady flow of interested homebuyers. You’ll want to make sure you home is nice and toasty, so you’ll need to crank of the heating. On top of that, normally, you might turn down the heat if you’re away from home during the day. That can lead to your heating bill being higher than normally.
Again, if your home ends up selling for more because it feels cozy, then that’s a moot point, but nevertheless it’s important to budget for that. (We’ll talk more about saving money on heating your home in our next article).
Written by Sean Cooper
Sean Cooper is the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians. He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30. Sean’s helping others burn their mortgage, too, as an independent mortgage broker. For an unbiased second opinion on your mortgage, email SeanCooperWriter@gmail.com or call 647-867-3711.