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Selling A Home In Winter
It is a widely held belief that sellers should always list their home in spring. However, a recent study by Redfin Research Center challenges the belief that homeowners should list their homes in the spring. Some casual home buyers may cease their search during the dead of winter, but many serious prospective home owners are open to purchasing a home in December, January and February.
Likelihood of Selling During Winter
Between March 22, 2011 and March 21, 2013, Redfin analyzed selling times in 19 major markets across the United States. They focused in three areas of home sales. First, they found out the likelihood of selling a home within six month of its listing. During summer, just 55 percent of homes sold within 6 months of being listed. Fall homes sold within six months of their listing 57 percent of the time. 65 percent and 56 percent of homes with listings that began in winter and summer, respectively, sold within six months. This suggests that homes may sell quicker if listings begin in the winter.
Average Days on Market
The same Redfin study analyzed the average listing time of homes before they sold. Homes with listings that began in fall sold after 34 days. Houses with starting listings dates in summer sold after 32 days on average. Spring listings sold after 32 days. Homes with listings starting in winter sold after just 26 days. This portion of the Redfin study also suggest that winter might be the best month to list a house.
Average Sale-to-List Price Ratio
The Redfin study might also suggest that the market is friendlier to the seller during winter. Homes listed in fall typically sold for 3.5 percent less than their listing prices. Summer listings sold for 3.6 percent less than their listing prices. Owners that listed their home in spring typically had to drop their listing price by 3.5 percent to sell it. Average final sales prices on winter listings dropped just 2.3 percent from their original price.
Winter Listing Conclusions
The study suggests that winter might actually be the best time to list a home. Today, many home shoppers are searching in the winter because they need a home, rather than wanting one. This might occur because a shopper had to relocate for work or a lease on their current apartment or home is about to expire. Some families also need a home in the winter because they had a baby. Often, since buyers are so desperate for a home during the winter months, they are willing to pay more. There is also suggestion that winter listings are easier to sell than their spring counterparts because there is less competition in the area.
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