5 Reasons Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate
There is a common misconception that you should put your house on the market in winter. But that's not necessarily true. There are some advantages for both buyers and sellers of Scottdale area real estate to buy and sell in the fall and winter months.
There are people who need to buy and sell throughout the year. Sometimes, people planned to do it during the summer but for whatever reason, things got pushed back.
I remember when we bought a Scottsdale townhouse, our first property in Arizona, I figured the real estate market would be the opposite of our prior state of IL. I thought more people would buy a home in Scottsdale during the winter because the weather was usually nicer then. Our agent, who also hailed from IL, said that wasn't the case. She said the market was very similar to IL.
Here are 5 ideas to ponder if you think you should wait for spring to buy and/or sell:
1. There is less competition with both buyers and sellers.
In the busier spring and summer sales seasons, there are more homes on the market and more buyers looking to buy one of them. I've had buyers ask me what's wrong with a certain area because there were so many For Sale signs up.
Buyers: If you've heard about or been involved in multiple offers, you might still be searching for a home. There will be fewer buyers out competing against you. This might be your chance to get your offer accepted, so don't wait until winter is over.
Sellers: Winter isn't a good time just for buyers. There will also be less competition with other Scottsdale homes on the market. Even with fewer buyers out looking, they'll have even less to look at. You'll still need to be priced correctly, but that is true of any season.
2. Both buyers and sellers have higher motivation
We get a lot of buyer inquiries in the spring and summer, but only a small percentage of those buyers are actually serious or ready to buy. They know it's a busy season, and they're out looking around and checking the market out. These are buyers that stop at open houses because they know they're not ready and don't want to bother agents. Not all of them think that way, and they do have agents take them out looking, even if they know they're not ready.
The same happens with sellers. Some of them want to test the market to see how much they can actually get for their Scottsdale homes. Many times, they will want to list higher than their agent suggests. It might work in a very busy market, but the house still has to appraise unless there is a cash buyer. If it doesn't appraise and your buyer can't or won't make up the difference, then the seller has to come down to appraised value or start over from scratch, knowing they are priced too high.
We feel that if a buyer is out looking in the winter, then they're probably pretty motivated to buy. It's not always the weather, which is actually more acceptable in Scottsdale in the winter by many residents. There are many factors that help people want and need to find a new place in the fall and winter months. This fact can also help a seller with the purchase of their next house.
3. It's easier to maintain the home's exterior
This might be more evident in colder regions, but even in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area, there is less exterior maintenance needed. The growing cycle of plants and grass slows down.
Even in the Scottsdale area, winters can bring some dreary days where the outside of homes don't look as lush and beautiful as during the hotter times, but every other home on the market is dealing with the same situation.
In Arizona, this might not be as big of a deal as in the state we came from - Illinois. Winters were brutal and with the exception of evergreens, some people waited until there was more foliage in their yards to make things look much nicer.
4. Saving money
If you look at Scottsdale's (and most areas) sales statistics, you might see a price drop during the winter months, but not always. Even if home prices stay the same, you can get deals on other moving-related costs.
You might get a discount from a moving company or a remodeler that isn't as busy during the winter months. They want to keep working so they will sometimes reduce fees or have winter sales. The same can be said for products you might buy to spruce up your place to get it looking fresh and updated prior to putting it on the market. This can include paint, flooring, furniture, and more.
Another benefit might be that instead of saving money, you will be able to have an easier and quicker time scheduling movers and contractors. That time-saver could also save dollars down the road by allowing you to get your home on the market sooner.
5. Real estate-related services will be more available
I don't like to say that as an agent, I would have more time for you in the winter than in a busier spring or summer market. Although I will sometimes have to juggle buyers when it's super busy, those buyers usually can't tell.
The only time there might be an issue with me is if I'm showing one set of buyers homes and have to try to time my next set of buyers so we don't overlap appointments. That's not always easy if my first buyers are taking a long time with each house they see, and I sometimes have to let them know that I've got other appointments after them. What I usually do in these situations is to let my next set of buyers know what's going on and not to leave until I contact them. I always keep up with communication.
It's not just agents that can be less busy during the winter. It can also be lenders, inspectors, appraisers, and title companies. This could help you to close on time or even sooner if all parties agree.
Give us a call if you're thinking of moving
Call me at 480-877-1549 if you're thinking of moving in the coming year. I can help you get pre-qualified and answer any questions you might have. If you have to sell something first, my expertise will help you to coordinate both selling and buying. With our last move, we sold two properties and bought our current house. So we've been there!
In the meantime, start looking at the listings we provide on this website. You have a few choices:
- Go to our home page to do a quick search - this is perfect if you have one or two addresses you want to check out.
- Go to our advanced home search and put in all of the criteria that we have choices for, which is very similar to our Arizona MLS
- Use our map search - many people like to see exactly where they're searching, especially if they have particular areas in mind.
- Fill out our quick home search questionnaire and we'll create an automated search directly from our MLS.
Keep in mind, you can create and save multiple searches on this website. You can search for more than one area per search, or keep the areas separate if you prefer. Any property you'd like to see has a button where you can schedule an appointment.