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Should I Sell My Home in the Winter or Wait Until Spring?

Spring may still be peak home-shopping season, since most families want to move when the

kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more

urgency: A study by online brokerages found that average sellers net more above asking

price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June

through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in

winter sold faster than those posted in spring.

Here are 6 reasons to sell in the Winter:

1. Low inventory = less competition

Since spring is the most popular home-selling season, the housing market is ultra crowded with options at that time of year. And if you paid attention during Econ 101, you understand the law of supply and demand. But in the winter, there are fewer homes for sale. That competition over low inventory can make winter an ideal time to sell your home.

2. You get to show your home’s winter-readiness

Selling in the winter also gives you the opportunity to show that a home is designed to handle the harsh elements. Plus, during winter months, homes with features like fireplaces and hot tubs are certainly more appealing.

3. New parents may be looking to upgrade

The baby boom in September may lead to more buyers later in the year. According to data from the Center for Health Statistics and the Social Security Administration, there are more birthdays in the month of September than any other time of the year. Therefore, there’s likely to be a crop of growing families looking to buy a larger house.

4. Winter brings out the serious buyers

News flash: Not everyone looking at houses intends to make a purchase. Some people are contemplating moving and may just want to see what’s on the market. Since more homes tend to go on the market in spring and fall, this is also when window shoppers are likely to be out looking.

5. Year-end financial bonuses and payouts

As a seller, year-end performance reviews, tech stock options and bonuses could mean that more people have money to spend on a home. Getting a tax deduction in before the end of the calendar year can also be a motivator.

6. Corporate relocation

You could also encounter buyers who are relocating for a job. Relocators typically have a limited amount of time to uproot their families and, as a result, don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time looking at properties. The kids need to get settled into school, and dealing with selling their old home can add another level of urgency and stress. So it’s likely that once they find a home that meets their requirements, these buyers will be ready to sign on the dotted line.

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