Around this time of year, every year, we get the question, “Wouldn’t it be better to wait and sell my house in the Spring?” Unbeknown to most, winter is a great time to sell your property! Redfin, the real estate company, and website, recently studied the sale of over 7 million homes in the past four years, and judged whether or not they sold within 30 days and whether the selling price was above the asking price. The spring market is the reigning king in the categories Redfin tested, but winter is on its coattails. “Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”
There are a few reasons why houses listed in the winter do so well, but the main one is lack of inventory. During the winter months, fewer properties are for sale, which means less competition, and less competition means a house has a better chance of selling within a month. In April of 2016, there were 456 new listings that hit the market in the City of Richmond, while in December there were only 218. If your neighborhood has half the amount of new listings hitting the market, then your house is likely to sell faster and closer to the asking price.
Another reason why selling in the winter is a good idea for owners is that the buyers who walk through the door are much more serious in the winter months. No one is going to be checking the age of a heat pump in 30-degree weather just for fun. There may be fewer people looking, but it’s almost guaranteed that those people are very serious about buying; serious buyers almost always equate to serious offers. In 2016, there were 279 sales in Richmond City during April, while in December there were 245 sales. December had half the new listings but only 34 fewer sales, illustrating that buyers still want and need homes in the coldest months of the year.
No matter the season, the preparation you do on your home is imperative to the successful sale of the property. First, make sure you speak to a respectable Realtor in your area. They will be able to provide you with a realistic price for your home, helping you eliminate the risk of over pricing. They will also be able to go through your house and let you know how best to stage it for general appeal. Remember, in selling your home, less is always more. The more you can declutter, the better. A home that is tidy and well decorated will win out over a cluttered home any day, regardless of the weather.
If you are in the Richmond metro area and thinking of selling or purchasing a home, please give us a call. We would love to help!