Selling a home in the winter during the holiday season?
It'll Never Work...
It's Too Cold — All The Buyers Are Hibernating...
Nobody Buys Homes In The Winter...
When it comes to selling a home, many feel the way Ebenezer Scrooge feels about Christmas — Bah Humbug! People assume winter is the worst possible time to sell a home. After all, the days are shorter and colder. People are only focused on the holidays, so it stands to reason that most buyers will be waiting for warmer seasons.
While home sales do slow during the winter, they don't stop, and they also don't slow down as much as most people assume. Fact is, every year in Northern Virginia, homes sell not only throughout the season but often several or more sell on holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!
There are some great reasons not to wait for spring to sell your home. Here are just a few of them.
1. Holiday Decorations
Owning a home can be an excellent long-term investment; in fact, the average home owner's net worth is 40-plus times greater than the average renter's. Even though homes are a great long-term investment, few if any home buyers focus their buying decisions on logic or financial gain. They buy homes they LIKE — homes that give them warm emotional feelings. Houses show better when decorated for the holidays; they give off that warm emotion that will draw buyers to them. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, and a well decorated house with that scent of pine or cedar from the tree will bring their senses and emotions into play — making your home possibly more desirable and appealing to them than at any other time of the year.
2. Relocation Home Buyers
Relocating home buyers account for a substantial percentage of homes sold throughout the year; this is particularly true of the Northern Virginia real estate market. Northern Virginia has always had and continues to have one of the highest percentage of inbound relocating households — military, corporate, government — all regularly relocate their employees to this region, and winter is the High Season for relocation, with January typically the biggest month for relocations. Guess what these relocating families all have in common? They need to find a place to live! Many of them will be in the market to buy a home — oftentimes in a hurry.
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3. Winter Time Equals SERIOUS Home Buyers
"Oh the weather outside is frightful..." and the last place most people want to be is out "Window Shopping" for homes. The percentage of tire kicking home buyers is highest from late spring to early fall in Northern Virginia and the surrounding area when the weather is warm and pleasant. Winter time buyers, on the other hand, steel themselves to the task at hand — finding a home in which to live. These serious home buyers typically have fewer homes from which to choose, meaning those from which they do have to select often sell for a higher percentage of their list price. While it varies with what the prevailing market conditions are each year, winter is typically the time of year when homes are sold for the greatest percentage of their listed price — giving home sellers who brave the winter selling season an additional monetary reward.
4. Competition Is Coming
Spring typically signals what is considered the start of the home buying season. While it is true that more homes sell in Northern Virginia and elsewhere during warmer months, it is false to assume that this will result in an easier time selling.
As winter draws to a close, hibernating home sellers list their homes for sale. Other home owners that took their homes off the market for the winter will re-list their homes at this time. This means that if you wait for spring, you will be competing against a much greater number of homes.
5. Home Buying Doesn't Come A Halt
Just because the weather has turned cold doesn't mean that the desire to own a home cools with it. Actually, many feel a strong urging at this time of year to buy a home. As the year draws to a close, people look back and review the past year and their personal goals. Owning a home still ranks at the top of most people's bucket lists. This is even true of Millennials. Though often considered to have no interest, a whopping 76% of them consider home ownership a priority.
Consultations with their CPA's regarding income taxes and ways to reduce them are another seasonal reason many home buyers take the step to buying a new home at this time.
New Year's resolutions are often contemplated as the winter approaches and the year comes to a close. New Year, New You. Many of us (me included) look at the arrival of January as a time of new beginnings. So in between visits to the gym and eating healthy food, a new home purchase might be just the thing to ring in a new year. And for some this might be a first home, move-up home or possibly downsizing to something that fits with a smaller family as children leave the nest.
Bonus Reasons To List Your Home
More Attention From Your Agent
You'll have more attention from the professionals to help you get your home sold. Because the number of homes sold is only 85%-91% of the rest of the year's average and the number listed for sale are reduced by even more, this means that your Listing Agent as well as Mortgage Lenders, Title Escrow Agents, Photographers, Home Inspectors, Appraisers and more will all have more time to focus on getting your home all the way to closing.
Fewer Buyers Through Your Home
Fewer showings — I know — that sounds counterintuitive, but do you really want throngs of people in and out of your house? I know I'd prefer rather having fewer qualified and motivated Buyers any day.
Prospective home buyers often have more vacation days and time off from work to give them time to shop homes.
"Home Selling During The Winter Holiday Season...Not a Humbug!"
is brought to you courtesy of Dave Martin Realty Group, your Northern Virginia residential real estate experts. If you're considering selling or buying a house in the Northern Virginia metro area, we'd love an opportunity to earn your business, provide you an outstanding experience, and demonstrate to you that:
"Help From The Best Agent Makes All The Difference."