Q&A: Are Selling Prices Typically Lower in the Winter?

I’ve had a whirlwind fall. I got married and my husband and I are moving into his home. The movers literally came on Thanksgiving, which means my condo finally is clear and clean. We’re planning to put it on the market ASAP because we aren’t excited about paying two mortgages, but I worry that we’re at a disadvantage because we’re listing in the winter. Are selling prices typically lower in the winter than spring and summer? Is there anything we can do to make the condo sell faster?
Hi and thank you for your question!
So to get right to the point… Yes, it’s true that the late fall and winter are typically slower real estate months where we see less inventory and more price drops. There can be as much as a 6% swing in the sale price of a home depending on the time of year. This is primarily due to buyer activity decreasing during these months. Weather, the busyness of the holidays, and being in the middle of the school year are all factors.
Because of this mindset we usually see less homes coming onto the market during these months, this past week we saw a 5% decline in new listings compared to the week before in Bloomington-Normal. New homes that do come on the market price according to buyer activity and their motivation to sell, and homes that have sat on the market through the spring and summer tend to either come off the market through the winter or start making some bigger price reductions.
However, there are always exceptions to the rules. Some good things about listing in the winter are that usually the buyers that are out there are serious! They’ve possibly just sold there home, are transferring with a job, etc. The pond may have less fish, but the fish are hungry!¬†Another exception would be, is your house a ‘purple cow’? By this I mean, is there something really unique about your home that stands out? Fully remodeled? Are you in the country on some acreage? Is there something about your home that sticks out against the competition regardless of the time of the year? If so, then listing in the winter should not necessarily be a deterrent for you.
Paying two mortgages is not fun. If you want to test the waters and put it on the market during the winter, go for it! Make sure your home is clean and decluttered, tastefully decorated for the holidays, accommodate any and all showings the best that you can, and (most importantly) price your home realistically. One thing to be aware of if you list in the winter and don’t sell as quickly as you had hoped; you will accumulate more days on the market. I could write a complete second response to the effects of accumulating days on the market, but in short…that is a downside.
If you have any questions about how to properly prepare, price, and market your home to increase your chances of a winter sale I would be happy talk more with you!


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