Selling your home in the winter presents several unique opportunities:
1. Inventory is still low.
While the housing market is nowhere near as frenzied as it was two years ago, housing inventory remains at historically low levels:
In contrast to seasons like spring and summer, the number of homes listed in the winter is likely to be even lower. Historically low inventory, coupled with seasonally low inventory, suggests listings may still be limited for many buyers. So, this could help to attract buyers to your house when you list it. And since it’s off-peak season, the typical closing process may move faster, potentially helping to expedite the sale of your house.
2. Homebuyers are motivated.
As is the case with all homebuyers shopping off-season—like those in the fall—they’re bound to be more motivated. Serious buyers shopping in the winter aren’t usually going to visit an open house for the fun of it. Those attending or booking a showing are probably going to be the ones who need to purchase by a certain date, whether they’re relocating for a new job or hoping to close by the end of winter break.
It’s also possible that some homebuyers hunting prior to the holidays may be motivated by the year-end tax break. Homeownership can offer a number of tax write-offs for those making itemized deductions. These might include property taxes, discount points, and up to $750,000 in mortgage interest. As always, consult with your tax professional before making any financial decisions.
❄️ When the weather outside is frightful, house hunters may find your home delightful. Connect with an Academy Loan Officer to see if selling your home in the winter makes sense.
3. Home prices may keep rising.
Rapid home price growth has certainly cooled. Though predictions are mixed, some housing authorities still don’t expect home prices to decline. CoreLogic predicts 3.9 percent home price growth within the next year. While this is good news for equity growth (more on that below), it also indicates that a new home is likely to cost more a year in the future.
Your Loan Officer can provide you with a clearer picture of how much this may impact your next purchase. For some homeowners, the possibility of slightly lower mortgage rates could be reason enough to wait. For others, the prediction of higher home prices may motivate you to sell now and buy sooner. Ask your Loan Officer for a personalized assessment if you’d like to run the numbers.
4. Your house may get more attention.
Less inventory means less seller competition. As a result, you may get more eyes on your home than in the spring since there will be fewer listings for buyers to choose from.
On top of that:
- If you list around the holidays, your neighborhood will naturally be more inviting.
- Depending on where you live, crisp leaves or fresh snow on the ground offer instant curb appeal.
- You also won’t have to worry about the cost and time involved in landscaping as you would in spring and summer.
Winter buyers may have more free time if they’re on vacation over the holidays. With days off of work, homebuyers may start browsing online, booking showings, and attending open houses. Interested buyers might also have family in town who can provide input and help guide their decision.
5. You may have more than enough equity.
If you’re anything like the average homeowner, you may have gained as much as $60,200 in home equity in the past year. This, of course, may fluctuate by state. As home values spiked throughout the pandemic, home equity also rose with them.
In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports that: “A homeowner who purchased a typical home five years ago would have gained $125,300 from just price appreciation alone.”
Depending on how much equity you have in your home, you could use these gains to sell and move up, relocate, or downsize. Downsizing and relocating are popular choices for many homeowners who have college-aged kids or who are entering retirement. You may have enough equity to fund some or all of a new home’s down payment if your current home no longer fits your lifestyle.