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Selling And Buying A House In The Winter

Is It A Good Idea? Selling and Buying a House In The Winter

Every year we see realtors and people in real estate discussing the topic of selling and buying a house in the Winter. Typical comments and opinions range from “The market is hot, it’s a great time to sell” to “Never sell in the winter, you won’t get top dollar” and even “buyers can low-ball sellers because any seller listing in the winter HAS to sell”. All the contradicting information can be super confusing for prospective buyers and sellers.

So is it a good idea to be selling and buying a house in the winter? It’s important to acknowledge that selling and buying a house is very situational. Below we will hit the key points you need to consider for both selling and buying a house in the Winter.


Selling A House In The Winter

When considering selling your house in the winter you have to consider these points:

  1. Are you buying AND selling? If you are buying and selling in the same timeframe then it’s a wash (refer to our blog post on buying or selling first here).
  2. Just Selling a House:  If you are just selling then dig deep on the market for your property. If there is a severe shortage in available listings like yours then it’s a good idea to list. For sellers that are flexible on when they can list, on average listing in the spring yields the highest average sale prices. We would recommend preparing your home for market in late February/early March.
  3. Competition: There are fewer listings in the Winter months! This means that it is less likely that another property similar to yours lists in the same neighborhood. There can also fewer active buyers. It is important to note that buyers that are active in the Winter are typically motivated buyers.
  4. Closing Date: Selling your house in the Winter doesn’t always mean you have to move in the Winter. You can always try to get a longer closing date to have your move date in late February or early March. Just remember the more flexible you are on closing dates the more options you have to work out a favorable deal with a buyer.

In summary, selling a house in the winter can be a great idea for you depending on your situation. If you HAVE to sell for financial reasons, personal reasons, or even because you found your next dream home that is ok. For your own sake just do your homework to prepare, market and sell your home for the most money given the market conditions.

Buying A House In The Winter

You never know when your dream home will hit the market! For people buying in the Winter here are the top things you need to know:

  1. Inventory: There are fewer homes on the market in the Winter months, fact. In Waterloo Region and Wellington County there are always fewer listings to pick from this time of year. Regardless if you are looking for a fairly common property or something with unique features just be aware that there are fewer listings to choose from this time of year.
  2. Competition: There are fewer listings available but there are also typically fewer active buyers. Usually this means that there are little changes to the competitive landscape for properties to buy but every winter we see a larger percentage of homes sell conditionally and fewer properties sell in multiple offers. This means as a buyer you can have a better opportunity to buy a place without competing!
  3. Motivation: We have all heard “They’ll selling in the winter they HAVE to sell”. That isn’t always true, don’t assume anything. That being said, a larger percentage of sellers in the Winter are more motivated compared to other seasons. This is usually people relocating for a new job or investors selling off assets before year’s end. If you find a motivated seller there can be great opportunity to get a great deal!

When buying a house in the Winter it is vital to make sure that you are finding the right opportunity for you and your situation. You can find a great property that has everything you need for the price you want regardless of the season.

Realtor Commentary

Selling and buying a house is situational. Regardless of the season you can sell your home for top dollar or find a great deal to purchase your next one. In order to pull that off the buyers and sellers that are active in the market, using the right tools, and prepared will be rewarded. Comment below or contact us directly to connect with Zack and get started with your moving strategy.

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