SOLD in the Cold
The real estate market tends to change with the seasons, heating up in the spring and cooling off in the winter. Buyers get the bug to go home shopping when the weather is nice and curb appeal is prime, and that is advantageous to sellers as well.
Unfortunately this natural trend has led many sellers to believe that if they weren’t ready to sell in the spring, they need to wait until next year to get the best value for their home. It’s time to set the record straight! If you’re ready to put your home on the market, you can have a successful sale no matter what the temperature outside. Here are just a few of the reasons why listing your home in the winter could be the right move for you:
1. Serious Buyers: Looking at houses in the freezing cold is not something most people do just for fun, so the buyers who are out this time of year are typically pretty serious about putting something under contract. The benefits of this are two-fold: you will save a lot of work preparing your home to show for buyers who aren’t serious, and the showings you do have are more likely to lead to a contract.
2. Less Competition: Some sellers fear that the decline in market activity during the winter season will mean their sale could drag on, but what they’re forgetting is that because fewer homes are listed they have less competition to sell. That means those serious buyers will find your home more quickly! On top of that, if you’re able to put a little time and money into making your home totally turn-key for buyers then it will really stand out and get the attention it needs to sell in a timely manner.
3. Tax Breaks: Squeaking in a home sale before the end of the year is a great way to get one last tax break, as you can deduct your mortgage interest, real estate taxes and PMI if you have it. Even better, if you’ve lived in your home for two of the last five years and you sell for $250,000 or less there is a good chance you won’t have to pay capital gains tax. The only thing better than making a profit on your sale is not paying taxes on your profit!
4. Weather-Ready: If you’ve ever sold a house during a bout of bad weather, you may have noticed an increase in showings directly afterward. When buyers are really interested in a house, seeing it after a heavy rain or in subzero temperatures allows them to check for potential leaks, uninsulated pipes and other bad weather risks. When your home is prepared to withstand those elements, it gives buyers confidence and encourages them not to wait to make you an offer.