Fall and winter aren’t the hottest times of the year, nor are they often the hottest times of the housing market. However, before you decide to wait until the spring or summer, selling in the off-season can really be to your advantage. This is especially true for sellers looking to:
- Unload an inherited property that needs work without investing in upgrades.
- Take advantage of better rates during the off-season.
- Sell a home before they buy a new one.
- Live in an area where winter weather doesn’t make a substantial impact on the market.
Are you thinking about listing your property during the fall or winter? If so, then let’s examine some of these pros and cons more closely.
Unloading a Property Quickly
For many people, selling in the fall or winter frees up their finances to buy in the spring and summer, which is when more homes are on the market.
Pros: Fewer homes for sale means you have more opportunity to appeal to potential buyers. As such, upgrades to boost your ROI may not be necessary to move your home more quickly. In addition, you can take advantage of holiday season home staging and the reduced home maintenance (like weekly lawn care) that often comes in the spring and summer. This can ultimately lead to more cash in-hand for a down payment on a new home.
Cons: House hunters may not be looking in the off-season, so your buying pool is reduced. That means that if your house is still on the market when spring arrives, the length of listed time may deter even more potential buyers. Because you may not be house hunting yourself until the spring, you may need to secure temporary housing between your sale and purchase.
Taking Advantage of Off-season Rates
Selling in the off-season means you can cash in on special rates for companies and organizations that support property selling, home buying, and residence moving.
Pros: Many realtors may take a smaller percentage of a sale during the off-season, which can save a lot on closing costs. Since realtors have fewer active properties, they may have more time and energy to focus on improving your home’s marketing. On top of that, moving companies often have lower rates and more flexible hours during the cooler months; on average, you can expect to pay $287, though this price will vary greatly depending on the size of the project and the distance you intend to move.
Cons: Some realtors travel in the off-season, so they may not be as reliable with open houses and communication. If you can be flexible with that, it may not be a major issue. However, one major issue is marketing; online advertising doesn’t usually follow seasons, so there may not be any discounts for sharing your property. And from a practical standpoint, earlier sunsets and cooler temperatures may impact some companies’ schedules and availability.
Winter Weather Isn’t Hazardous in Your Area
People living in Texas know that fall and winter weather can really fluctuate. It might be 60 degrees one day and the high the next day sits around 45. This also means that the housing market setbacks usually seen due to weather don’t apply like they do in other areas.
Pros: In the off-season, roads are rarely closed due to ice or snow, which means home buyers don’t have to reschedule showings because of weather. Companies and realtors’ schedules are lighter too; they aren’t as likely to be overbooked or have to rearrange time slots. Most importantly, however, you don’t have to worry about inclement weather that occurs during the spring and summer, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Cons: Many home buyers aren’t looking to make big financial decisions during the holidays, so you are potentially limited in the number of prospective shoppers. And even in places with a temperate climate, like Texas, unexpected weather conditions can occur without much warning or notice. And since the winter months boast shorter days, you may need to get creative with how you ehighlight your hom, lawn, and outdoor entertainment areas.
There are many good reasons to consider listing your home in the fall and winter, just as there are some compelling ones to wait until spring and summer. The most important aspect is to make selling more convenient for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
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