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Pros and Cons of Selling a House During the Winter

Selling Ontario Houses in the Winter

Like the weather, the housing market tends to be cold during the winter, making it a less-than-ideal time to sell a house in most parts of Ontario.

Here are four pros and cons of selling during the winter.

Pros of Selling in the Winter

A smaller listing pool, ways to show off a home's efficiencies, and high motivation make the pros list.

1. Less Competition
Winter is a great time to take advantage of the fact that there are fewer houses on the real estate market, so there is far less competition for sellers. As a result, buyers have fewer options, leading to more serious consideration of properties on the market. Not only that, but less competition means sellers' homes have an easier chance to stand out from the limited crowd.

2. Showcase an Efficient Home
In Ontario, energy efficiency is vital for those cold winter months, but when houses sell in non-winter months, it isn't easy to show off those efficiencies. However, an energy-efficient home can be a significant selling feature and a way to get a great price on the house. During the winter, showcase itemized receipts so potential buyers can see the benefits in real-time.

3. Motivated Buyers
Winter is a time for hibernation and not just for bears! While the real estate market in the summertime may see people visiting open houses as a Sunday activity, in the wintertime, people typically only leave their homes for a purpose. As a result, open houses might have less attendance, but the people there are motivated to buy.

4. Motivated REALTORS®
If fewer properties are on the real estate market, a REALTOR® will be more motivated to sell their listed property. As well as fewer properties, they'll have fewer clients, which will mean more dedicated attention than sellers may get in the summer months.

Cons of Selling in the Winter

Let's look at the other side of the coin that may have people reconsider selling their homes during winter.

1. Curb Appeal Difficulties
It's easier to make a home and the property look beautiful in the summer months. A house does not necessarily lack all curb appeal in the winter months, but it does mean sellers will have to put more effort into highlighting the features and minimizing what could look better. While a freshly fallen layer of snow can be lovely, it doesn't last long before that initial loveliness turns into a brown, salted mess. In addition, the dead or dormant trees and other vegetation can make a seller cringe and create a challenge as they try to envision a lush and green landscape.

2. Showings
In the summer months, it's easy for sellers to leave home while potential buyers are viewing the house. It is far less effort to gather the family and the pets to take them for a walk in the park when the weather is warm. In the wintertime, it can add a lot more extra work bundling small children up to sit in a car or finding a place for your pet during open house days or last-minute viewings.

3. Lack of Bidding Wars
Bidding wars are less likely because fewer buyers look at real estate during the winter. With the lack of competition, there won't be those wars that could get sellers top dollar. A lack of multiple offers means having to think hard about any offers made to ensure that they align with the results that the sellers consider ideal.

4. Kids & Holidays
For sellers with a family, winter means days of school, snow days and holidays. Depending on how long it takes for the house to sell, it may affect any holiday obligations or plans already made, causing conflict with move-out and move-in dates. In addition, the amount of snow and cold weather gear can add a unique challenge when keeping the house neat for viewing.

FIND a QUALIFIED ONTARIO REALTOR®

New jobs, family, and lifestyle changes are all reasons people move in the winter and need new homes. But are you ready to venture into the market regardless of winter? Find a qualified professional in the real estate field to help you navigate the winter housing market with plenty of experience in marketing and selling homes during the winter months.

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