Home-Selling Season: Should You List in January or Wait for Spring?

Posted by Staff Reporter (media@realtytoday.com) on Dec 02, 2015 05:00 AM EST
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Franklin Road Christmas Lights 2015more big
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 01: Children enjoy the ice and the snow machine outside a house on Franklin Road in Ponsonby on December 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. It is the 22nd year Franklin Road residents have decorated their houses with lights for the Christmas season.
(Photo : Phil Walter/Getty Images)

There is wisdom as to why spring is the official home-selling season. A house in full color paired with a blooming garden makes a property more inviting. Also, spring is the perfect time for families to move before the kids' school starts. However, a few real estate experts actually prefer going against the norm. For them, selling properties right in the middle of winter -- January to be exact -- could actually give the homeowners a better deal.

Brendon DeSimone, author of "Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling," debunks the old mentality that buyers only look for houses during the warm season. According to him, buyers now look at listings every day, thanks to apps and websites.

"They're looking for inventory, and will buy homes well before the spring. List your home in January, and you will have a captive audience," DeSimone states on Zillow.

Furthermore, the author has observed that every year, real estate agents' phones are busiest in January. Old buyers want to negotiate, and new buyers contact them for possible leads. DeSimone calls this a phenomenon, and explains that this is because of the end-of-the-year bonuses, tax implications, and inheritances people may have received during December. He adds that when people get together for holiday family events, the conversation usually leads to money, investments, and homeownership.

According to The Fiscal Times, listing a property during winter attracts a few, but very dedicated buyers. Also, since most homeowners sell in spring, the limited supply could work to a seller's advantage.

"There is less competition in the off season, so your home will stand out more," Scott Wilkinson, owner of Wilkinson ERA Real Estate explains. "Now may be the best time because there isn't an influx of homes that hit the market at the same time, which results in less inventory and more buyers."

To increase chances of sales, brokers suggest sellers to get their homes stand out amidst the cold and white environment. Grattan Donahoe, owner of ERA Donahoe Realty, suggests using LED bulbs inside the house for a warmer and sunnier vibe. She also suggests sticking to classic, sophisticated holiday decor and lighting for the exterior.

"To get top dollar during the slower sales months you need the home to look like a model," she concludes.

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