Why is the dead of winter the best time to sell a house?

January 15, 2019

Contrary to conventional thinking and in my humble opinion, the best time to buy or sell a house is between Thanksgiving and the end of January.

There is a general consensus that spring is the best time of year to sell a home because weather in northern climates begins to cooperate, foliage comes alive and offers fresh curb appeal. Other important considerations include families with school age children who typically wait for the academic year to finish before disrupting schedules so finding a home and moving throughout the summer gets everyone back on track in time for the new semester.

The thing about putting a home on the market when everyone else does is precisely the problem. Inventories are at their highest with competition being particularly fierce so that homes need to be in pristine condition, priced aggressively and situated in optimum locations to sell quickly.

Buying and selling real estate, however, is a year round activity. With folks relocating, (traditionally January is the month for corporate transferees to begin new jobs) scaling up, or down, changes in marital status, the necessity to be closer to family, there are people moving to and from homes all the time, not just in spring or summer.

Why is the fall and early winter the best time to buy or sell? As the holidays approach, many homeowners who dread having to keep their places in immaculate condition with people coming and going tend to take their homes off the market so not to be bothered while celebrating. However, as inventory decreases, buyers have less to choose from.

As competition wanes, a home in good condition priced properly and decorated joyously (houses show so well then) for the holidays gives these serious buyers a chance to possibly even be in a new home before the New Year.

Selling in winter also gives the seller a chance to be a non-contingent buyer during spring free to choose from that growing inventory.

One last point, you can’t sell a home when it’s off the market.

Bobbi Markowitz,

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, (203) 209-3157, bobbimarkowitz@yahoo.com

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