While winter approaches, it will get pretty cold around here. Our average lows are about 18° and our highs are in the mid to upper 40°s. It can get below zero occasionally, but this is pretty rare. Just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean the real estate industry comes to a halt. People still must buy and sell and there are challenges as well as benefits to this time of year.

Benefits:

Buyers have less competition.

There are simply not that many buyers out there as there were in the spring. Buyers won’t be fighting for the same home and they may feel a sense of relaxation instead of urgency when touring and viewing properties.

Sellers have serious buyers.

Sellers won’t have as many looky-loos wasting their time. Most buyers are pretty serious if they are willing to brave the weather to look at homes. Most buyers that come through a property are serious about finding a home fast with as little wasted time as possible.

Home offers are consistent with asking price.

Because there is not a lot of competition, most buyers will be more competitive with their offers. If there are fewer options on the table, the buyer may give an offer closer to the asking price instead of risk losing the property.

Prices may be lower.

Buyers can cash in on some great deals in the winter. Sellers are typically more eager to sell fast so prices may be lower than full market value.

Better real estate attention.

Real estate tends to slow in colder climates in the winter which means buyers and sellers have their agent’s full attention. Of course, Realtors® need to be on their game at all times but with less real estate on the books, more attention can be paid to each client.

Challenges of Buying or Selling in the Winter

Snow covers a lot.

It’s harder to get a lay of the land when the ground, house, and outbuildings are covered in snow.  Buyers may not actually know what the property really looks like until the snow melts.

Less daylight.

Showings need to be earlier in the day so the buyer can see the whole property. With the sun setting around 5:00 – 6:00 pm, it can be difficult for buyers that can only view property in the evening.

Lower inventory.

Lower inventory can be a disadvantage and benefit at the same time. It’s a disadvantage because there are just not that many properties to choose from.

Holidays are on everyone’s mind.

People may be concerned with saving some extra money and with winter brings the holidays. It may be difficult to stage a house when homeowners are still trying to salvage some holiday cheer. Buyers may not be as willing to pay full price knowing Christmas is coming. Read More About Fall Staging Ideas

On the flip side: touring houses that have the perfect amount of winter/holiday coziness can really put buyers in a festive mood and bring a sense of warmth and comfort to them. This could have a positive effect on their buying ability.

There are pros and cons to buying or selling in just about any season, but sellers shouldn’t worry about listing this time of year and buyers should feel comfortable buying a home. Knowing the challenges but also the benefits to both can put you in a better frame of mind overall. Give me a call if you’d like to see any Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Township or West Bloomfield homes for sale.