While braving the icy roads and cold weather might steer most people away from entering the real estate market, there are benefits to be gained by putting up with the weather. For many buyers and sellers, entering the market in the winter might even be better than waiting until the warmer months! If you’re on the fence, asking yourself, “Is winter a bad time to sell or buy a house in Michigan”, we’ve listed the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
PROS TO SELLING YOUR HOUSE IN THE WINTER
1. MORE SERIOUS AND MOTIVATED BUYERS
Only serious buyers ready to purchase a home will brave the winter weather to house hunt. This means “window shoppers” and “tire-kickers” with little intention of actually buying will not inconvenience you with showings. Therefore, while less buyers are out in the winter, the ones that express interest in your home, truly are interested in your home. Also, most buyers in the winter have a specific reason for not waiting until spring. Maybe they are relocating for work or desperately need a larger home; which is great for sellers looking for a quick sale at a fair price.
2. LESS COMPETITION
Uninformed sellers often let their listings expire in the Fall/Winter market and wait until spring to re-list. This means fewer homes are on the market, narrowing the search for buyers and limiting their options, making it easier for your home to stand out. Less competition means a quicker sale for you!
3. SELL IN THE WINTER TO BUY IN THE SPRING
If you sell during the winter (a “Seller’s market), you can buy in the spring (a “Buyer’s market) when all those who delayed selling flood the market with listings. This gives you a bigger selection and you’ll already have a SOLD home! To make the process easy for you, a Glover Agency realtor can even negotiate occupancy if you prefer not to move during the middle of winter.
4. BETTER HOME SHOWING
It’s easier to prepare your home in the winter – no lawn cutting, weeding flower beds, etc. And if you are selling during the holiday months, you get to show off how beautiful and warm your home can look all dolled up with holiday decor. Beyond the looks of your home, selling during the winter gives you the advantage of highlighting the winterization of your home! Every homebuyer will be happy to know that the home and its windows are leak proof against the winter weather. If your home is energy efficient, even better! Being able to show off energy efficient features that are saving money on bills will make a great impression on buyers.
PROS TO BUYING IN THE WINTER
1. LOWER AVERAGE SALE PRICE
Research shows that buyers who close on a house in January pay an average of 0.51% less than closings during the rest of the year. To put that percentage into perspective, 0.51% off a $300,00 home is $15,000! That could put a home in your price budget that maybe wouldn’t have been there during the summer.
2. SHOP FOR A WINTERIZED HOME
When you buy a home in the summer, you don’t get to see how the home holds up against the winter weather. When you shop in the winter, you get to personally inspect the home for any drafty windows, roof leaks or ice dams. Another big advantage is being able to witness how well the roads leading to the home and in the neighborhood are plowed and salted.
3. LESS CHAOTIC BUYING PROCESS
The real estate market can get crazy in the summer with bidding-wars. This chaos sometimes causes buyers to forgo home inspections and write appraisal clauses that they might not have written without the added pressure of the fast moving market. Buying in a slower market gives you the luxury of putting more thought into the big decision of which home to buy. A winter market with lower inventory causes fewer people to buy, creating a much calmer and less competitive buying experience, removing the pressure to view each home the day it’s listed.
4. FASTER LOANS
Sometimes the process of getting a loan for your home purchase can push your move-in date back. During winter, lenders aren’t as busy and can process loans faster. This makes for a quicker closing, giving you the ability to move on to your new destination sooner.
So, Maybe Winter isn't such a Bad Time to Enter the Michigan Real Estate Market!
Entering the market during the winter might seem bad on the surface, but as you can see, there are many benefits to reap! Our agents at Glover Agency are incredibly skilled at working the Michigan real estate market year round and are happy to make the process as smooth as possible for their clients. If you are contemplating buying or selling your house this winter, give our team a call and we will answer any of your questions and steer you in the right direction for your specific needs.