What about Winter Home Sales?

Why do people believe that no one buys or sells a home in the winter? When you check home purchases in 2018 and 2019, you’ll find that February home purchases were above those of warmer months in 2018. According to ATTOM Data Solutions newly released annual analysis of the best days of the year to buy a U.S. home, the 3 best days to buy a home at a discount are all in the month of December. Also, not all regions are affected by big seasonal changes.

Almost a million homes were sold in the U.S. last winter between December 2018 to February 2019). Nearly one out of every five homes sold between September 2018 and August 2019 were sold in colder months. The amount of homes that are bought and sold in the winter deserves attention.

Most buyers do online searches for homes. A huge majority of buyers used the internet during their home search last year. The numbers from Winter of 2018-2019 show that serious home buyers continued to purchase in large numbers with February 2019 numbers above July of 2018.  The weather might be challenging, but it won’t stop home buyers.

Winter sellers have an advantage with an even more limited number of homes on the market. It is reported that as many as 210,000 U.S. homes dropped off the market from November to December in 2018, perhaps as much as 12% less competition on the market during that time. Sellers are practically assured of less competition and fewer available homes.

Tips for Selling in the Winter:  Why not say a welcome home when potential buyers walk in out of the cold into your house? It’s easier to make a house feel like home in the wintertime. Consider these helpful tips.

• Show your home’s Winter readiness: Use the season to show that your home is designed to handle the Winter elements. Highlight the upgrades and advantages that your home offers.

• Keep it simple: If you’re selling during the holiday season, use caution with decorations! No need to over power interested visitors with excessive trimmings.

• Create coziness: Light a fire in the hearth, play soft holiday music in the background, and prepare fresh-baked goods or mulled cider for guests.

• Shine a light outside: Winter days get dark early. Brighten your home’s exterior with outdoor spotlights. But avoid a winter wonderland.  Snow is great, but clear the walkways and let potential buyers see details of the house. Also have clear-weather photos of your home available.

Many winter buyers are working against deadlines, such as an expiring lease or a contract on their current home, and are in serious home search mode. Winter home buyers may also be motivated to capture the tax benefits of buying a home before year-end. Home buyers can write off some of the expenses of their home purchase on their taxes. Tax benefits could make a potential home buyer need a closing before the new year. Selling a home and buying another before year end could open up more tax breaks.

As a buyer, you won’t probably have as many competitor buyers as you would if you wait to buy in Spring and probably you won’t get caught in a bidding war. Supply and demand for housing are usually both down during the winter months, so you should be able to save money on your purchase! Hard to believe? Check out the recent seasonal prices: The median sales price of homes last winter was more than $250,000—then it jumped up to nearly $267,000 in the spring. That means people who bought their homes during winter saved almost $17,000 compared to those who bought in spring—a nearly 7% discount. And hey, if you’re able to knock tens of thousands of dollars off your home purchase, that might make any challenges of buying during the wintertime worthwhile.

House hunting in winter gives you a chance to look at how your potential new home handles harsh weather and prices may drop. Still you should not plan on spending more than 25% of your take-home pay on monthly housing payments. It is good to calculate how much you can afford to spend and stick to it. If the home inspection brings up some issues, don’t be afraid to ask your seller to make repairs or lower the asking price. Buying a house can change your tax situation, which is why talking to a tax professional and researching your options is important. They can make sure you get every deduction and credit you’ve earned and also caution you on how important it is how you hold title.

Don’t let winter keep you from all the advantages to buying or selling a home. What feels daunting can be much easier with low cost buyer or seller representation. If you’re ready to get the job done now, your next step is to consider contacting Assist2Sell. We offer flat fee savings with full service!