Selling a Home in Winter- Good or Bad Idea?

Traditional thinking has been that it is a terrible idea to sell your home during the winter months.  It is cold and snowy, after all.  People are preoccupied with the Holidays and don’t have time to look.  People don’t want to move in the slop.  Children don’t change schools in the middle of the academic year.  


Well, there can be serious advantages to both buying a home during this time, as well as selling a home during this time.  

As a buyer, you face less competition.  It’s sort of like going to Linger on a Wednesday night.  It’s a lot easier to get a table at a good time than it is on a Friday or Saturday at 7:30pm when everyone else wants to dine.  This past Spring, it was common to have multiple offer situations and competition.  That is much less likely in the colder months.  Additionally, you will not feel as pressured to get in to see a property immediately.  If you have something going on the day its listed or the first weekend its on the market, no worries.  It will be there the following weekend too.

There are always some outstanding properties that are sold during this time.  Sometimes sellers need to sell for circumstantial reasons (relocation, divorce, etc.) and they do not want to wait until the Spring.  

You are more likely to be able to pay market value, and not have to go over asking price, precisely because of the lack of (as much) competition.

So, clearly its better to be a buyer during this time, right?  Well, not so fast. 

It can also be a great time to sell.  If your circumstances dictate that you should sell, why wait?  Maybe your renter moved out, you got a promotion in a new city, etc.?  Why wait for 3-6 months, especially if you have to carry the unit vacant during that time.  That could be tens of thousands of dollars.  The Denver market has been so hot and there are still buyers out there waiting in the wings.  Plus, you might be surprised to learn that you can realize the same net profit as if you waited.  

This recent article by the LA Times suggests that you can sell a home for more money during the winter.  

The reality is that if you have a good home, especially in a seller’s market like Denver, and have it priced correctly for the market, the winter is less of a factor than you might think.  You will be able to sell, and likely for as much or more than in the Spring or Summer.  

Take advantage of voraciously hungry buyers and Denver’s record low inventory RIGHT NOW if your circumstances dictate that you are ready to move on from your home.  There’s is no need to wait.  Remember: the future may look bright, but the future is always uncertain.  

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About Jeff Summerhill

Jeff is equally passionate about the x's and o's of real estate, and the emotional, more heart-felt side of real estate like people, places, and design. He enjoys getting up to the mountains and skiing, hiking, and biking whenever time permits.

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