Conventional wisdom says that you should not list your home for sale during the winter because potential buyers are occupied with the holidays, the days are shorter, and bad weather prevents or discourages many courages many potential buyers from touring homes. The problem is, conventional wisdom hasn’t caught up with the internet and smart phones.
According to a 2010 profile of home buyers and sellers by the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of all buyers use the internet as a source of information in their home buying decision. Tools available on the internet allow prospective buyers to do most of their search from the comfort of their own homes where weather, location and daylight are not a factor. The days of seeing an ad in the newspaper with one small photo then driving by the house are over. Now prospective buyers can see virtual tours, maps that show whether a house is on a busy street or at the end of a cul-de-sac, and detailed specifications of homes from a laptop or smart phone virtually anywhere. This all but removes weather and buyers taking vacations as an issue in selling homes.
Lack of competition in winter is often a factor that is overlooked by sellers. There are still many people who choose not to list their homes for sale in winter months. With fewer homes for sale, those that are on the market in winter are more visible. Lower inventory also means that motivated buyers will have fewer homes to choose from. The October sales numbers for Deschutes County this year show that despite the fact inventory has fallen 14 percent since the summer peak, the number of homes sold has actually risen both in real numbers and as a percentage of homes for sale. That indicates there are still plenty of motivated buyers in this market and now could be a great time for sellers to take advantage of reduced competition.
An argument unique to Central Oregon in favor of listing a home for sale in winter is tourism. The rationale that buyers are on vacation in winter can actually work in a seller’s favor in Bend and Central Oregon. Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling bring thousands of people to the area. Thousands of potential home buyers, many of whom, because interest rates are so low, will search local listings to see what homes are available.
If you are considering selling your home don’t let “conventional wisdom” be the determining factor in listing your house during winter months. There are many factors to consider and we can help you sort through them.
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