Sellers planning to list a home for sale tend to favor spring and summer months. But, that’s often not the best time to sell. Why? Because some of the most serious home shoppers house hunt during the winter–even throughout the holiday season! Read on to learn what motivates winter buyers.
Buyers Get Vacation Time From Work:
Many prospective home buyers already have time off from work for the holidays, and while the actual holiday days may be busy, a lot of the rest of that time is downtime. As a result, buyers have more time to spend shopping for homes, going to showings, and stopping in at open houses. If you’re planning to list your home this winter, it’ll also be easier for you to prepare your home for sale and to handle showings.
New-Year Deadlines Are Quickly Approaching:
Mortgage rates often rise at the beginning of a new year – and they are projected to go up moderately in 2017. As a result, prospective home buyers are eager to go into escrow so they can lock in a low interest rate before the new year rolls around. Additionally, some buyers may also have deadlines that require them to find a new home by the new year. This can happen for lots of reasons, like if a buyer has a job offer they need to move states for or if they are currently renting and their lease is set to expire in January.
School is Out for Holiday Break:
When you have school-aged kids, it’s always tougher to move – especially when school is in session. For families with children who aren’t enrolled in year-round schools, there are two logical times of year to switch schools. The first is summer break, but often times, parents not having time off work and having family travel plans can complicate things. The second is during winter break, when parents typically have time off of work and school curriculum tends to wind down. Closing on a home before school starts again can be another big motivator for buyers who are house hunting during the holiday season.
There’s Less Competition:
Finally, some serious buyers shop during the holiday season because they anticipate there will be less competition, and to some degree, they’re right. While that might sound bad for sellers, don’t worry! Due to the ongoing shortage of properties for sale in combination with the threat of rising interest rates, having fewer active buyers on the market won’t negatively affect your negotiating power. In fact, working with motivated winter buyers in a high demand market can actually help you find a buyer and sell your property faster.
If you plan on waiting until spring or summer to list a home for sale because you’re waiting for more buyers to hit the market, you may want to re-think that decision and list now!
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