Ask Andrew: How Winter Can Freeze The Local Housing Market
By: Andrew Goodman
Q: I’m thinking of listing my house, but I didn’t know how this cold and snowy weather would affect my chances of selling it fast. Thoughts?
A: The brutal cold does impact the market. The cold weather could hinder the movement of properties in a number of ways. It also might help.
Limited showings: The cold does tend to keep buyers inside rather than viewing properties. If the cold weather keeps buyers from seeing your home, that obviously limits the opportunities for someone to purchase it.
Home’s appeal: When it’s cold outside the landscaping of the home isn’t as noticeable. Flowers aren’t blooming, the lawn isn’t bright green and more. The home’s exterior character and appeal will not present itself in the cold as it would in the warmer seasons. If there’s snow on the ground, it also limits the potential buyer’s ability to see the entire property and landscape. Not to mention that buyers snowy shoes could leave the home filthy.
Now, the flip side is that there are some buyers who are looking to purchase within a specific time frame. So, if you were to list your home in this weather, there may be potential to sell it quicker than the warmer weather months.
Limited competition: This cold snowy weather does tend to limit sellers from putting their homes on the market because they don’t believe buyers are out looking, nor do they want to be moving in the cold. So if you were to list your home in this weather, you may be able to find buyers due to the low housing inventory.
Potential buyers: There are always buyers looking to purchase. Buyers looking in the cold winter months probably have to move for one reason or another. Maybe they’re moving here for a job or their current lease is up. If that’s the case, your home may be the house that they have been looking for.
This comes down to one of my earlier columns and most frequent reminders: If your home is priced right, it will sell no matter the weather.
Now, will you get a higher price in the spring than in the winter months? Potentially.
However, if the home is in high demand with little competition, you may be able to get a higher price in the winter months than in the spring.
Timing is everything. Talk to a Realtor to determine the best time to list your home!