Overlooking the real estate market during the colder months is a big mistake. You don’t have to wait until the Spring or Summer to list or buy a property; selling and buying during the winter months offers several advantages.
Selling a House
It’s a misconception that the real estate market is quiet during the winter: of course, people are less likely to choose to move during the colder months, but not everyone has the choice. Those who are relocating are more serious about open houses, viewings and placing an offer. That’s because they’re under a tighter deadline or they want to avoid the cold at all costs.
Many assume it’s ineffective to list during the winter, but that itself is a benefit to sellers. With fewer houses on the market, your property will gain more exposure and face less competition. Homebuyers are more likely to forgive small discrepancies due to limited options.
Winter is a great time to showcase your home’s energy efficiency. Potential buyers always notice the temperature of a house and if they feel any drafts. If your home is energy efficient and properly sealed, this is a huge selling point and will likely turn heads.No buyer wants to take on the cost of replacing or upgrading an HVAC system.
Corporate Relocation & New Parents
January and February are prime months for corporate relocations. Relocators have pressure to buy since they have a stricter timeframe and less flexibility to view the property. Hitting this market can create a quick and easy sale.
With the September baby boom, realtors see a lot of new parents looking to buy as well. They’ve settled into parenthood, plus they have additional help during the holiday season.
That means you have two eager groups of buyers while you’re trying to sell.
Buying a House
There are a lot of elements to real estate; it’s not just realtors and MLS listings. You will work with a mortgage specialist, house inspector, real estate lawyer, etc. Since spring and summer are peak seasons for real estate, contacting a professional during the warm months could leave you waiting days or weeks for a callback. You will have more flexibility and a quicker service during winter. Be sure to ask about holidays, so you can plan around their schedule.
Problems Are More Evident
A professional house inspection is always recommended, but spotting problems yourself will save time and money. During the summer homeowners can easily highlight their home, which can distract potential buyers from small/large repairs.
Fresh flowers and open windows can mask lingering smells from mildew.
A sun-filled room with large windows will take the attention away from wall cracks.
Water damage from a leaking roof might be covered, but not properly fixed.
The heating system cannot be checked or tested.
Whose thinking about shovelling when you’re enjoying the beautiful landscaping.
Pests are outside enjoying the warm breeze, that’s not the case in the winter.
It’s plain and simple: you’re viewing a property when it’s most stressed, you’re getting a forecast of your possible future problems.
You and your realtor should be paying close attention to the “cumulative days on market” on MLS listings. If a property has been on the market for a few months and the winter season is approaching, the seller might be inclined to accept a lower offer or add specific terms to the sale.
With fewer people looking to buy, bidding wars are less frequent. That means you have less pressure to quickly submit an offer. Plus, your offer has a greater chance of being accepted. You have the leverage in both scenarios.
Flexibility with Movers
Moving, in general, is a lot of effort and can be considered a workout. Moving during the winter is extra intense.
It’s understandable if you want to avoid the situation completely and it’s honestly what we recommend (if it’s possible). If you were able to get a price reduction on your home or saved funds on another service, use them towards a moving company. A lot of companies offer discounts or special promotions since it’s a slower season.
You will have more flexibility with your booking as well. During the summer, to book a mover on a prime day (like the end of the month), you’d have to make arrangements weeks or months in advance. If something came up last minute and you needed a different time, it would be nearly impossible to reschedule. Not the case for colder months!
Real Estate Opportunities During the Winter
When winter hits, especially a Winnipeg winter, all anyone wants to do is snuggle up in the warmest blanket they can find with a piping hot drink. As enticing as that is, many prime opportunities will be missed.
Sellers and buyers are both motivated to complete a sale, realtors have more free time and extra attention to give, businesses are more likely to offer special offers/discounts.
If you’re serious about your real estate opportunity, you won’t wait for the next warm season. Take advantage of the overlooked winter season! Our team of realtors can navigate the winter season with ease, whether you’re looking to sell a house or buy one!Reach out to our office to start the conversation!