If you're waiting until Spring to put your home on the market, reconsider. A national analysis of home sales from March 22, 2011, through March 21, 2013, found that those listed in winter have a 9% greater likelihood of selling, sell a week faster, and sell for 1.2% more relative to list price than homes listed in any other season. Keep reading to find out why.
1. Those who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers.
Picture the buyer who puts on her hat, gloves, boots, scarf, and winter coat to go look at homes in the middle of a snow storm. Are they buying or “just looking”? I think you know the answer. Selling during the winter months keeps the neighbors and looky loos out of the process and attracts only serious buyers to your home; making the showing process much easier.
2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays. Less competition means more money for you.
Think back to your schooling days of those fundamental economics theories: Supply and Demand. The supply during the holiday season is limited which makes the demand for your home high. High demand means more money in your pocket! But once January hits, the supply of listings will dramatically increase.
3. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays.
There's a reason major retail stores throw-up holiday all over their stores during the season with high energy music, samples of tasty morsels and decorations. Scientists of human behavior estimate 85 - 95% of consumer decisions occur on the subconscious level. By triggering and engaging all the senses on numerous levels – scent, sound, visuals, touch and taste – you’ll offer consumers a richly layered and memorable sensory experience. So decorate tastefully, add a scented candle, play soft music, and you will hit multiple sensory factors.
4. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price.
During the holiday season people tend to deal with a wide range of emotions. Trigger the good ones with your home to make it more memorable. Appealing to multiple senses will invite the warm fuzzies of old memories and the hopes of new ones they will enjoy. Buyers value this and tend to offer a higher price when emotions are involved
5. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week.
Many people save their vacation days and need to use them before they lose them to the new year. Holiday breaks also allow couples more flexibility to see homes together and view those places earlier in the day while there's still natural lighting.
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6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
Buying a home comes with a variety of tax benefits, the biggest being the ability to deduct interest paid on the mortgage. The sooner you’re paying interest on that new home, the more interest you’ll be able to deduct come next April.
One of the immediate benefits, especially if you’ll be deducting mortgage interest for the first time, is that you may be able to reduce the amount of federal income tax withheld from your income – resulting in a higher paycheck each month. Property taxes (AKA real estate taxes) and some closing costs are also tax deductible. It’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional to determine how these deductions could affect your bottom line.
7. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must have your home available now to capture that market.
Understanding recruitment cycles will help give your home's sale an edge. The fourth quarter presents the most complex hiring dynamics of the year, with its mix of fall activity, holiday retail hiring, Thanksgiving-to-New Year's slowdown, and end-of-year financial and budget maneuvering.
"Hiring managers and bank CEOs will typically try to reduce their operating profits by incurring search fees towards the end of each year, to avoid paying taxes," says Josiah Whitman, an executive recruiter with Financial Placements of Lake Oswego, Oregon. His firm's job orders are distributed this way: first quarter, 23 percent; second quarter, 21 percent; third quarter, 20 percent; fourth quarter, 36 percent.
8. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings.
Have a party already planned, visitors coming to town or just want quiet time of your own on a specific day? It is within your rights to restrict showings, just remember that every person you turn away could have been a potential buyer. Getting top dollar is a function of supply and demand, and part of that “supply” means “supplying” your property to the buyer-pool. If you don’t supply them with your property, and access to it, then you’re missing out on half the equation.
9. You can sell now for more money and move out later. The average time frame from list date to move out date is nearly 90 days.
The price isn't the only thing negotiable when selling your home. You can negotiate your move-out date, but the time to do it is during the negotiation process before you sign the contract. Whatever terms you or your real estate agent negotiates with the buyers or buyers’ agent, include the conditions in the written contract.
10. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market.
This will allow you to sell high and buy low. Lower stress will increase the clarity of your decision making as you choose the home best for you.
Ready to know the value of your home this season?