The real estate market doesn’t close for cold and snow, but buying and selling real estate during the winter months presents a unique challenge.

  • Curb Appeal

Winter is the slowest time of year for real estate, and that can have both pros and cons for buyers and sellers. Let’s learn some of the ways buying or selling real estate in the winter can be both good and bad for all parties involved.

Buying or Selling a Home During the Winter

Advantages of Selling in the Winter

Smaller Inventory – A lower inventory has a few benefits for sellers in the winter. Basic economics tells us that the smaller the supply, the higher demand, which means you could get away with slight price increases during the winter. Prospective sellers need to balance the lack of supply with fewer winter home shoppers to find a good middle ground for pricing.
Tax Benefits – Everyone has a different tax situation, but moving your home before year’s end is ordinarily beneficial to your taxes.

Advantages of Buying in the Winter

Fewer Buyers – Summer represents the busiest real estate months. Summer sees the most prospective buyers and the most prospective homes. Still, fewer buyers in the winter can work out in your favor since there are fewer offers out there.
More Negotiation – Because there are fewer buyers in the winter, you might be able to negotiate a better deal. On the other end, sellers in a market with low inventory can use that to their advantage for negotiation.

Disadvantages of Selling in the Winter

Fewer Buyers – Fewer buyers means more difficulty moving property. If you’re eager to get the property off your hands, be prepared for a stressful winter.
Stress – Winter is a stressful time. The days are short, the roads are cruddy, and then there’s the many winter holidays and stress that comes with those. Add into that mix the stress of selling your home, and you’re in for a rough few months.
Problems Can be More Obvious – Home issues like drafty windows, loose doors, and cracking paint can be more apparent during the winter which might make your home more difficult to move.
Less Curb Appeal – Homes have much less curb appeal in the winter. The trees around your property are bare, there aren’t any flowers, and the overcast skies don’t give your home the best light. Lack of curb appeal could make your home sit longer.

Disadvantages of Buying in the Winter

Can’t See Everything – You might not be able to see problems with a prospective home when shopping in the winter. If snow is covering everything, you can’t check the roof, test the irrigation, see what the yard looks like in bloom and many other things that might be important to you.
Stress – Trying to purchase and sell a property during the winter months can be stressful for both sellers and buyers. It can be challenging for prospective buyers to schedule viewings during the short days of the holiday season.
Trouble Finding the Perfect Home – You never want to settle when purchasing a home. Unfortunately, the low inventory of winter means you have less of a chance of finding the right home for you. That doesn’t mean the perfect home isn’t available, you might just have to look a little harder.

Buying and Selling in the Winter

Buying and selling in the winter has many pros and many cons, no matter which way you look at it. If the pros for buying or selling a home in the winter outweigh the cons, give The Meissner Group a call. We’ll be happy to list your home or help you find your dream home, no matter how far the mercury falls.