Profile picture for Deb Kantor

Are you wondering if winter is the time to list your home? The answer is YES!

Interesting Factoid: 90 homes were sold on Cape Cod last winter between 11/1/11-3/31/12! LIST YOUR HOME NOW! - if it's priced well, and you choose the right Realtor it will sell!  You will have less competition, and your home will stand on it's own merits! AND.....buyers are still enjoying low financing rates!  The answer is: YES!
  • November 10 2012 - US
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
What are the days on the market in the winter, vs other seasons?  

What percentage of homes sell during the period?

  • November 10 2012
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Profile picture for StuartSantana
As a local professional...I can say in my experience in my local markets, that Winter tends to be a Buyer's season :)

Granted that is not the case when inventory is extremely low, but most people just don't like to "move" during the holidays...unless they have a good incentive to.

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck
  • November 13 2012
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Profile picture for Lisa and Goran Forss
The fall/winter season is slightly less traffic than summer here in Temecula/Murrieta.  This season offer fewer showings but we have felt more serious buyers.  We listed a home here in Temecula last month for $525,000 (where the seller had expected $505,000) and in just one day we had 18 offers!  Highest offer was over $100,000 above asking price.  For those that are not familiar with Temecula, our inventory is less than 1 month (vs a 5-6 month in a normal market).  This is excellent news for sellers.  
  • November 18 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Interesting that the original poster doesn't care to respond to my questions.

I consider listing in winter a whole different can of worms in Southern CA vs the areas that have a true damp, dark, cold winter but it would be interesting to see statistics.

  • November 18 2012
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It is interesting, in the Palm Springs area we have things backwards... EVERYONE lists in the winter, while our snowbirds are here, and in the summer it is like pulling teeth to get people to keep their homes on the market, yet in August alone I closed 5 deals... When inventory is as low as it is across the board, not to sound cliche', but now is a GREAT time to list your home!
  • November 18 2012
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People are moving every month of the year! So the answer is YES!
  • November 18 2012
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Profile picture for New_Englander
I see this advice a lot, but I would be interested to know people's thoughts on when it is to a seller's disadvantage to try to sell their house in the winter.  When do the disadvantages outweigh any advantages?  I feel like these boards are dominated by people in warmer suburban regions.  A small lot in a temperate climate (or even a cold climate) will change a lot less from season to season than will a large rural lot in a cold climate.

We would like to put our house on the market during the spring.  I live in a rural area (albeit New England rural, which means near dense pockets of population, not out in the middle of nowhere) on about 9 acres of land, which is mostly wooded.  Frankly, I see NO houses in my area selling during the winter, even though quite a few remain on the market.  In our case, and the case of many of our neighbors, the lot itself is a major part of the appeal of the property.  Most of the houses are modest, but the lots are large and during the spring and summer are lush, filled with leafed out trees, flowers, green lawn, gardens, etc..  The deck has patio furniture and potted trees... basically people can imagine a certain lifestyle, spending time outside around the firepit, morning coffee on the deck, grilling outside, gardening, etc...  During the winter, things are gray, the deck is empty and covered in snow or remnants of snow (after shoveling) and the trees are totally leafless and look dead. Most of the plantings around the house and yard, except for some evergreen boxwoods and azaleas, have died down to nothing.  The grass is brown and then later covered in snow, and we might have a 12 foot snow pile from the plow.  

I know that anyone who buys the house will ultimately have to live here when it looks just like this, but the house looks its absolute worst during the winter, and we would prefer to show it shows to its best advantage.  It's kind of like the difference between showing a stark, empty interior, or staging the house so it shows well.  Which would you prefer?  Also, I we often hear that buyers are not good at envisioning houses looking differently from how they are shown.  People are advised, for example, that if they have repurposed a bedroom, they should change it back, staging the room as a bedroom, because many buyers won't be able to picture it as a bedroom.  Well, that always baffles me because I can't picture anyone being so unimaginative... but if that advice is based in some truth, then certainly buyers won't be able to envision lush green and leaves and plants which have completely ceased to exist during the winter.  Better to show them what they are actually going to get.

All this goes to the idea of not getting any offers during the winter... but we also worry about getting really low-ball offers because, again, buyers can't see what they're actually getting.  
  • November 27 2012
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New_Englander, I tried to give you a thumbs up but was thwarted by an apparently faulty TU thingy.

I love it when consumers give feedback, especially when it is well written and thought out :)

My take on selling in cold climates during during winter (assuming its not in a ski resort area) is that it is not ideal.  You highlighted some great reasons above.  If the winter turns out to be a snowy one, it makes access to houses problematic and can cut down on showings considerably.

That being said, two potential advantages are that new inventory, and therefore your competition, tends to be significantly lower and that the buyers that are looking this time of year tend to be more serious. Of course, buyers and their agents may be thinking the same thing about sellers- that if they're selling at this time of year, they must be desperate.

In your particular situation I think there is no doubt that it is to your advantage to wait until you can show the full glory of your property.

Frankly, Ms.Kantor's post comes across as a sales pitch and I find it a bit....irksome.
  • November 27 2012
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- Well, that always baffles me because I can't picture anyone being so unimaginative

Just imagine that most home shoppers have little or no experience or education in anything building-related and that they shop for houses much in the way that they used to shop for a rental.

There are several million homes sold every year, and the professionals have learned that the more turnkey a home is, the faster it sells.

Also, consider that when a buyer sees a room that is repurposed, it can bring a doubt to their mind as to the suitability of that room for the original purpose.


  • November 27 2012
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If your home is well-priced, nicely staged and is not a distress sale, there are buyers looking year round. Interest rates are really low so buyers are  motivated. Don't hesitate to contact me with other questions.
  • November 28 2012
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Profile picture for scully75
REAs, what's considered spring in the Northeast? One agent we spoke with recommended we have our house ready to list by 3/1. In CT, it can still be snowy; often, leaves aren't growing on the trees until May. I'd love to take advantage of being one of the first homes listed in Spring, since the inventory will still be low.
  • January 06 2013
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Profile picture for Rita Walker
I am in Louisville KY. This winter has been phenomenal for sales. I have so many Buyers and 4 listings going up this month.
Loving it!!!
  • January 06 2013
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