One question that I get from clients and friends is, “Should I list my home during the winter? Should they be buying or selling in the winter?”
It’s a fairly common question, and I felt I should discuss it in depth instead of giving a yes or no. Below are some of the reasons why you should list your home during winter and how this can benefit you.
More Intentional Buyers
The market tends to slow down as you approach the winter season. However, as a seller, you have to think like your competitors. They are all thinking of doing the same thing you’re thinking of doing.
So if you’re thinking of pulling your house off the market and following through, buyers don’t know that you’re still looking to sell.
Their focus is on what is currently active on the market, not the canceled or expired listings. So the buyer will have to rely on their agents or do a lot of digging and research to find the property.
So as a seller, you have to see the bigger picture here. Yes, there aren’t plenty of buyers in the market at the moment.
On the other hand, the remaining ones are more intentional and committed to finding the right property for them. When it gets to 20 to 30 degrees, there aren’t any real estate tours or any serious buyers looking to go to open houses just for the fun of it.
As wintertime approaches, buyers have to weigh their options: Should I be looking to buy, or should I wait until spring? More houses come on to market around the start of spring, starting from February.
Yes, there are more listings. But the interest rates in proportion to the unit in the market are rising too at that time. I recently called a friend of mine to ask about the interest rates. He’s a loan officer, and this is what he told me.
“Right now, if you have really good credit, really good collateral to be able to put up debt to coverage. If everything is solid, then you’re probably looking at 4.875%. If not, you’re looking at 5% to 5.25%. So now, someone who could afford a $200,000 house can only afford a $175,000 home.
The $25,000 is a big swing because it could be the difference between a bedroom and a neighborhood. That’s a lot, even on taxes. This simple but very critical fact forces you to analyze your financial standing.
Do you have the downpayment? Do you have any funds? If you have neither, maybe there are grants available that you can cash in on. No matter what community you are in, there’s probably a non-profit organization (NGO) you can get help from.
We have the Nebraska Investment Fund Association (NIFA) here in Nebraska that gives funding to first-time homebuyers. The association is part of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that allows you to bring even less than the required 3.5%.
If you don’t have any idea of programs such as these, then reaching out to your community leaders or realtors would be equally helpful. You can even reach out to smaller community banks or mortgage brokers who deal with different banks.
When looking at buying or selling during the wintertime, you need to understand that there will be many discounts up for grabs. If you’re selling and you’ve already priced yourself competitively, say at 5% below the market value, then you’re enticing buyers.
You’re giving them a reason to want to come in and bid on your house. You, in turn, create a compound effect that culminates in a multiple offer situation. You may not be in the market at the same rank you used to be over the last two months or even years. But still, you’re creating opportunities designed to generate multiple offer situations.
Keep in mind that you cannot price the buyers out. If you are already over asking price or market value, nobody will approach you with an offer or want to negotiate with you.
If your market value is $200,000 and you’re trying to squeeze it for $210,000 in a market where there are plenty of factors against you, then you’re not going to make any returns.
You want a buyer to walk into your house with the mindset that they’re about to close a great deal – “We need to buy this.” If you start at $190,000 and let them bid themselves up to $200,000, you still get what you were okay selling your house for.
You don’t want to get greedy, though. Always make sure you have an offer to begin with. You can say something like,” Here’s why you should buy my house – we’re already competitively priced.” Now, as a buyer, you need to understand that there will be things working in your favor as well.
Look at new constructions; you get incredibly attractive discounts around November and December, depending on the area and time. I remember my first ever deal – I got my client 15,000 dollars off. The builder wasn’t adamant he wouldn’t sell, but he knew how hard I worked for this deal.
At the same time, he chose to accept my offer because he didn’t want to risk getting stuck with this inventory after the new year. Ultimately, if you’re looking to buy or sell and you can afford to keep it in the market, that’s still okay because interest rates are going to go up.
These tips will help you tap into the potential benefits of listing your home during winter. There are plenty of discounts to choose from, and you get to engage with serious buyers.
You also get buyer advantages. If you have any comments, feedback or questions, please reach me at Casanova Brooks on my social profiles. In the dream, we trust!