Winter brings out bargain hunters in the real estate market

The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
Published on December 16, 2020

Maybe it’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday that leads shoppers to believe that winter, in its entirety, is bargain-shopping time.

It certainly opens the door to a season of frenzied buying and that penny-pinching spills over into the housing market as well.

The media doesn’t help, when every year we read stories of how much more money a homebuyer saves when buying in winter than any other time of the year.

The winter advantage for home sellers

If you’re like many homeowners thinking of selling in winter you’ve no doubt read the gloom and doom from the media and from real estate amateurs.

It’s true that fewer homes sell in winter than in spring. This makes sense when we consider that fewer homeowners list their homes in winter.

The brave homeowners who do decide to sell find less competition from other sellers and their home is more likely to sell than at any other time of the year.

Best of all?

Winter-sold homes sell for more money and they sell quicker

How can this be?

Homebuyers are more motivated in winter

Think about it: what would motivate someone to buy a house in the dead of winter, especially in areas with wicked weather?

Job transfers are high on the list of reasons, so if you live in an area that receives large influxes of transferees, winter is a brilliant time to sell.

Back to dealing with bargain hunters

So, how should you react when you, as a home seller, receive a ridiculously low offer on your home? First, be prepared that it probably will happen.

Your response to the offer, however, depends on several things, chief among them is the type of market we’re in at the time.

Right now, we’re still in a seller’s market. This means, regardless of the amount of snow on the ground and ice on the driveway, you’re in the driver’s seat. Here are some of your options:

  • Entertain the low-ball offer by remaining firm on the price. In other words, counter the buyer’s offer stating that you want full price.
  • If you really need to sell the home sooner rather than later, counter the offer by lowering your price by a small amount.
  • Ignore the offer. We are in a seller’s market after all and there is still competition for homes in good shape and in desirable areas. If your home is in good condition and in an in-demand area, hang tight for a better offer.
  • If the buyer is requesting concessions, grant them but demand full price.
  • Accept the offer.

There are other ways to counter an offer to purchase as well, including countering the contract terms.

But, before you choose any of the responses, and depending on how long your home has been on the market, we may want to run a new check of the comparables to ensure that the market value hasn’t changed since you listed the home.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home in winter.

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