Archive for February 3rd, 2011

Selling Your Home in the Winter

I am asked by potential home sellers from time to time for my opinion as to when is the “best time to sell their home”. Many would naturally think that the spring is the ideal time to get their home on the market. But I personally think that while the outside pictures may look better, spring time is not the best time to put your home on the market for a few reasons:

  • Increased Market Inventory – Historically speaking, here in Idaho spring is a very popular time to put a home on the market. Many feel that as the weather warms up and the kids are getting out of school, more potential buyers will be out looking.  Now your home will be up against  not only the existing inventory that did not sell over the past few months but all the new listings as well.
  • Less Serious Buyers – With increased inventory also comes an increase in potential buyers but not all those that are out looking are going to buy. As stated earlier, as the weather warms up more people like to go out and look.  It is almost like a spring time ritual to go around to open houses and see what everyone elses kitchen looks like!
  • Reduced Pricing – Because the inventory picks up, the competition forces prices to go down (supply and demand). Now this may not seem like a huge price decrease but an extra $5k -$10k at the closing table is always welcome!

While some may argue that you have a better chance to sell in the spring, keep in mind that the spring is a short window (mid March to the end of May here in Boise anyway).  Then the potential buyers all seem to go on vacation till August. So why do I think the winter time is a great time to list your property? For the opposite reasons listed above:

  • Decreased Inventory- Many sellers pull their homes off the market to avoid having to have showings during the holidays (November to Mid-January). This is when your property will stand out with fewer homes to compete against.
  • Serious Buyers– The buyers that will brave the Boise  area inversions are serious! They have to find a home and will do so regardless of the weather. Yes, you may get fewer showings but just know that the ones that do look are looking to buy. If selling your home during the holiday season does not appeal to you, putting it on in January will still give you an advantage.
  • Stable or Increased Pricing – Now particularly in this market, I am not saying that pricing is going to be a lot higher but because inventory is lower (supply and demand again), less competition will keep you from having to continually lower your prices (although pricing your home correctly to start with avoids the problem of having to lower it at all!).

There are many realtors who may not agree with my assessment but in todays current market I think the winter market has even more merit. More than half the homes on the market are short sales or bank-owned. Many buyers are becoming weary of this market and appreciate a “normal” seller. Short sales and bank owned properties do not come off the market till they are foreclosed or sell (note: bank owned have already been foreclosed). So with a good chunk of the “normal” market getting out until spring, your chances are even better! 

I hope you will look at the winter market in a whole new light! The winter is not as gloomy as you think! And as always if you have any questions or need help finding real estate in the Boise, Idaho area please feel free to contact me! or

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