It’s not the winter weather that’s starting to cool down the hot sellers’ housing market of the past year or so, but the cold front is forming nonetheless.
A mix of rising interest rates and an increase in the number of homes on the market are starting to tamp down buyer demand, slowing the rocket-like ascent of housing prices. Winters in general provide sellers a great opportunity to put their home on the market and see a quick sale, and this particular winter is shaping up to be one in which smart sellers are accelerating their plans.
Interest rates that once were in the mid to low 2% range are now above 3%, and forecasters see at least another percentage point increase by the end of 2022. For every 1% increase in interest rates, buyers lose 10% of their purchasing power because banks are less willing to loan money when larger monthly payments are factored in.
So, for example, you might have at one time been able to attract a buyer who would take out a $200,000 loan for your $300,000 home. But now, thanks to higher interest rates, that buyer can borrow only $180,000 and might not be able to afford your home at the asking price.
While you might have missed the peak of the seller’s market, you’re still in a great position to see a good offer on your home quickly, but now is not the time to wait. With the market in the process of balancing to be more neutral, bargaining power likely will continue to shift from seller to buyer throughout 2022 and beyond.
With that in mind, here are the Top 5 reasons to sell during winter — particularly, this winer.
#1 Less competition
People looking to sell their homes during winter are more serious about actually selling their homes. The spring and summer bring out what we’ll call Dabblers. These are folks who don’t have to sell their homes and are merely interested in seeing how buyers might respond to their home being on the market.
If you’re a serious seller this winter, you’re not competing for buyers’ attention with the Dabblers. If no one put their home on the market after today, the current supply of available homes in the St. Louis region would run out in about 20 days. That means there aren’t many houses out there similar to yours and around your price point, which puts you in a better bargaining position with eager buyers.
Speaking of whom …
#2 More motivated buyers
… Just as there are Dabblers with sellers, there are Dabblers with buyers. Spring and summer are times when people consider buying. The kids are out of school, many people have reduced work commitments, and the weather is perfect to get out to a few open houses, maybe even put out a low-ball offer to see if a desperate seller will bite. Winter is when the buyers who have to buy a home come out to play. Many times, this involves a job transfer or other time-is-of-the-essence life event. Once again, this puts you as a seller in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating the sale price.
#3 Homes show great in the winter
There’s a truth in real estate that people don’t buy a house — they buy a home. The difference is that one is a building and the other is a feeling. There is simply no better time to put your home before potential buyers than when it’s warm and cozy when the world outside is cold and nasty.
Sellers who want to create a feeling for potential buyers that their home is not only a building in which they can live but a place in which they can create new memories take advantage of the season and put their homes on the market during the winter.
#4 It’s easier to move
“Wait. What are you talking about? Moving with snow on the ground and in all this cold is easier?” Well, yes, it can be.
As much as the stuff in your house is awesome and important, those who buy your home don’t want it. Seriously, you’ll be looking to take your memories and bring them to your new locale.
You know who’s less busy during the winter? Movers. That means it’s easier to find a reputable, professional moving company at a better price compared to when there are hundreds of people trying to do the exact same thing you are.
Be flexible, allocate a few days for the move, and you might even be able to negotiate a better deal with the people who will be doing the move. Then, the snow is their problem, not yours.
Oh,and by the way, it’s much easier to schedule a date in the winter for complimentary use of our moving truck as part of The Allen Brake Team’s Calm & Confident Home Sales Experience.
#5 A quicker close
During the busy spring and summer months, the best mortgage brokers are at peak demand. The workload can be insane. That means the timing of your sale is not up to you; it’s up to your lender and their ability to get through the huge stack of files on their desks.
In the winter, that stack is smaller and you’ll close faster, maybe up to 25% to 30% faster. So if you want to time your sale to coincide with a move or the purchase of a new home, it’s much easier to coordinate and is much more in your control in winter.
So what do you think? Did those five reasons motivate you to consider selling your home right now before the power shifts to buyers?
Whenever you’re ready, The Allen Brake Team is Here!
The Allen Brake Team