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Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Spring to List a Home

Dec 31, 2018 10:40:24 AM

winter listing

Traditionally, people think the real estate market starts in the spring of every year. However, savvy sellers know that listing in the winter ‘off-season’ can prove to be beneficial. Don’t believe us? Here’s what our CENTURY 21 Redwood agents had to say about why you should be listing your home right now.

“Of course, winter or off-season listing is beneficial to willing sellers!

There is less competition (fewer homes for buyers to select from) with fewer homes on the market that time of year AND buyers who are out in the marketplace are more seriously motivated to locate their next home & commit to a closing date.

Agents typically are carrying less inventory so have more personalized time for marketing. Vendors are also less busy, so scheduling photo shoots, repairs, remodeling is more flexible and compatible with seller plans.”

Ruthan O’Toole, Agent, C21 Redwood Locust Grove


“I’ve found that serious buyers are looking in the winter. These buyers are qualified and ready to purchase, so it’s advantageous for sellers to list while these buyers are in the market and there is possibly less competition. Spring seems to come earlier and earlier in the real estate market, making winter more and more attractive.”

Stacy Allwein, Agent, C21 Redwood Frederick

“I always tell sellers it is not always best to wait to March to list when there may be more buyers, but there will also be more listings to compete with. I tell them it is best to list mid-January or February to be ahead of the other listings coming on the market.”

Bill Milletary, Agent, C21 Redwood Ashburn

“Sellers should absolutely list in winter/offseason. If the home is presented and priced well (decluttered, staged and professionally photographed, etc.), it will sell. The advantages of listing at this time are there are fewer competing homes on the market, and buyers looking to buy during the winter/off-season time frames are usually very motivated and prepared.”

Michelle Sanoske, Agent, C21 Redwood Reston

“With inventory at an all-time low, it’s a good time to list, as long as you’re priced to the market. Always be mindful of the comparables in your area because savvy buyers are!”

Laurie Hailey, Agent, C21 Redwood Leesburg

“I tell my sellers that there are fewer buyers out looking, but the buyers that are looking are serious buyers. In the spring market, there are more buyers that are just "looking" and/or in the beginning phase of their home search.

Plus, there is less inventory in the winter months, therefore, less competition.”

Suzanne Parisi, Agent, C21 Redwood Reston

“I have always found that when I sold and had a listing in late fall and winter, we sometimes sold for more than we would have in the warmer months, as there was less inventory available. I once put a house under contract the day before Christmas Eve. Buyers don’t always get to pick the timing. These particular buyers were relocating to the area and had to find something quickly, which was a welcome situation for my sellers who needed to sell as they had a contract on their new home to be. So, yes, I think it is a fantastic time to sell!”

Danielle Dojcak, EVP/Managing Broker, C21 Redwood Frederick

“I always tell my clients that when you list in the Fall/Winter that, while you may not have as many showings, the prospective buyers that do view are always very serious about moving. It eliminates “looky-loos”. If someone is looking to purchase a home in the winter, they are usually motivated by something, such as a relocation. I explain it as a benefit to the seller because of less life disruption with fewer showings a week and only serious negotiations when an offer arrives. Always seems to sway my potential sellers to list.”

Jennifer Burton, Agent, C21 Redwood Fredericksburg

“The question is, is there really ever a BAD time to list a property?! I actually like to list properties in the winter. Inventory is typically much lower, and there is very little to compete against. Additionally, the sellers are motivated to sell (as who really wants to list when it's cold and the holidays are coming), and the buyers are motivated (for exactly the same reason)."

Tracey Barrett, Agent, C21 Redwood Fairfax

“I personally think less inventory for buyers helps! Lots of folks visiting family and looking for homes this time of year and seemingly less competition!”

Denise Maddox, Agent, C21 Redwood Stafford

“When listing in winter, a seller has less competition on the market and inventory is low. Buyers looking in winter are serious if they’re out house hunting in the cold. We have many buyers who must relocate in November, and that makes them serious - their house-hunting trips tend to be fast and furious with a fast closing, too.”

Anne Overington, Agent, C21 Redwood Fredericksburg

“Is there really an off-season in real estate? Having been in the business for four decades, I have seen houses come on the market in what we might consider off-season sell quickly and for list price or higher. Conversely, I have seen houses come on the market during this same time languish. What is the difference? The key is always pricing a property consistent with current market conditions. Buyers are always looking, and when they find what they consider "fair value," they will buy. Of course, other considerations for a property are making sure they are in the best condition possible and have as favorable terms as the seller can offer. Buyers will buy when they are ready to buy and find the right home for them, regardless of time of year. When listing a home in the so-called off-season, an agent should do so with this thought in mind, "The house is already sold pending notification to the buyer." Our job is to notify the buyer!”

Jim Phillips, EVP/Managing Broker C21 Redwood Fairfax

“My best month ever for closings was a January. Six closings, all corporate relos shopping in November and December for jobs starting in the new year. There are always buyers out there looking, no matter the season.”

Bo Clevenger, Agent, C21 Redwood Frederick

“This had been the hottest winter market ever since I started the business! Inventory remains low, and the demand is very high since Amazon announced their HQ2 arrival. If sellers list their home on the market now and spend a little money on renovation and price it right, a serious buyer will make a move fearing the interest rate hike and competition on the spring market!”

Danny Leung, Agent, C21 Redwood Washington DC

“I have personally had the best of luck in the Jan-March months! Homes that have sat during the fall have gone under contract quickly soon after the new year. It is the perfect time to list your home. The holidays are over, and people have realized that they want a bigger home to entertain in next year! In my opinion, the "spring market" now starts in January! Bring on 2019!”

Meredith Hannan, Agent, C21 Redwood Ashburn

Wow! We’d say that’s a pretty unanimous response, wouldn’t you? So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence as a home seller or you’re an agent who’s been thinking they should wait until spring to bring listings to the market, perhaps now is the time to think again. Even better? At CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty, we have many real estate marketing tools ready to be used to market your next listing in its best light. Learn more about what we have to offer right here on our blog!

Tara L. Christianson

Written by Tara L. Christianson

As Century 21 Redwood Realty's Training and Technology Director, Tara has been allowed more fully explore her passion for teaching fellow real estate agents all about upcoming technologies and the opportunities of the online world. She's an international speaker and content writer who relentlessly pursues the best strategies for individuals and companies in utilising technology to its best benefit.

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