Be Brave: Why You Should List in the Winter
There are so many cultural norms that we simply follow because that's just what everyone else does. We all do them, like line up to the elevator, when the stairs are totally empty. How about the lengths we will go to to avoiding sitting next to a stranger at the movie theatre? Well, another one of these "norms" we all seem to follow is that if you are going to sell your house you better darn well list it in the spring. That notion has been around for a long time, and I want to offer you my thoughts on why bucking the trend, being brave, and listing in the winter could be the best decision you make!
Now, I'll outline why you should consider winter listings below, but for those of you who prefer a visual medium, check out my video outlying all of this.
In the winter we all tend to go into hibernation mode. We hunker down and only leave the house when we absolutely have to. Buyers are the same way, but they're out there in the cold and dark because they are totally serious about their house hunting. Sure the spring might have more buyers looking, but I'd rather work with 5 serious winter buyers than 25 spring buyers that are simply curious.
Spring is a great time of year, the weather is improving, the animals are twitterpated, and the "norm" followers are all listing their houses in droves. Suddenly the housing market is flooding and there are three other properties in your neighbourhood that are identical to your listing. Uh oh... now you have to stand out from all these other similar properties. How do you do that? Either work harder with your marketing etc, or reduce your asking price! Both are less than ideal, but if you need to sell by a certain date then you haven’t got a choice. This is one problem a solid winter listing doesn’t have to worry about. With less on the market in the winter you have less competition, and less competition saves you from getting into a price war with your neighbours.
I bet I can guess that you know someone who has a birthday in September. Okay that's too easy.. how about someone who's birthday lands between the 9th to the 20th of September? Still too broad? Okay, is their birthday September 9th, 12th or 19th? Congratulations, you’ve been magic'd! Haha no, actually the whole month of September and those days in particular have the highest number of new births out of the year. So, what does that have to to with selling in the winter??? Well, more babies = more bigger families. Those bigger families need to upgrade to more room. This is where your winter listing is the answer to their baby making prayers!
The Coziness Factor
I bet you already know what I'm talking about with this one. The "coziness factor" is that feeling of walking into a home and instantly having that warm, cozy, almost nostalgic feeling. Buyers eat that up for breakfast. The difference between a home that's vacant and empty, vs a warm home with a good fireplace, nice lambs wool rug, and seasonally decorated is night and day, even if they are identical layouts! When you be brave and list in the winter you would be crazy not to exploit this coziness factor, because buyers use emotion to decide and that warm secure happy feeling from a well decorated winter listing is going to exploit that emotion to no end!
Corporate Relocations + Holiday Bonuses
Did you know that January and February are the two most common months for corporate relocations? Yep, and these families need a home ASAP. That's where you’re lovely winter listing steps in. Speaking of work, the end of the year sees many folks getting holiday bonuses. This gives people the perfect excuse to use that bonus money and invest it in your property!
I think it's pretty clear that there are really good reasons to not delay selling your house till spring. Whether you're avoiding the spring competition, exploiting the coziness factor, or simply prefer more serious buyers, listing in the winter could be the best decision you make!
Best of luck to you sellers!