Should You List Your Home for Sale in January?
January isn’t the typical high point of the year for the real estate market; it’s cold, windy, and driving conditions make most folks think twice about stepping outside. It may not seem like the ideal time of year to list your home, but there are surprising benefits to putting your home up for sale in the new year. Use the first month of the year to your advantage!
Spring is the time of year when most houses hit the market. This means there is a field of competition for sellers, making it harder to attract buyers’ attention. You can use this to your advantage if you’re looking to list your home in January.
Here are three major reasons why selling your home in January isn’t so bleak, and why it might actually work out in your favour.
1) People are moving year round
Selling your home in January may not have been your first choice, but circumstances sometimes make it necessary. Keep in mind that the exact same is true for home buyers. People need to move every day of the year for a wide variety of reasons, and sometimes these reasons mean they are unable to select that perfect calendar date for their move. That means there will always be people potentially interested in your house, no matter what month you’re selling.
Some situations such as sudden changes in employment, family, and financial position could require someone to move residences as soon as possible. Life happens, and there is no exception given for the month of January. If people are moving in January, you can almost guarantee that they are motivated buyers. It wouldn’t make sense as otherwise, they would have probably waited for the milder months to begin their search.
Some people willingly opt to move into the winter months; it may be easier to facilitate the move as trucks are more readily available, or they prefer the grey skies to the blistering summer heat. Buyers also see the advantages to a market that isn’t saturated as it can be during the spring.
2) Winter looks good on you!
Showing your home in spring is pleasant, with lush green grass and perfectly placed flowers to make your home appealing. Winter is conversely known for being drab, and for the dreaded brown, wet, slush that coats the roads. It doesn’t sound very flattering when you’re trying to show your home.
However, many houses look great in winter. Bright snow and grey skies highlight their character and make the inside look cozy and homey. It’s easy to make a home feel warm and inviting on a bitter, cold, winter day. You can add lovely seasonal elements in the decor such as wreaths, lights, and bows to show off your home’s charm. Consider that some homes even look better in winter, so showing them in January can be advantageous. Furthermore, there’s no worry for seasonal allergies, maintaining the garden/lawn, and keeping the greenery under control in the midst of winter.
3) Post-holiday shopping spike
There’s usually not much real estate activity over the holidays, and understandably so. People are busy, and it’s not the most convenient time to upheave your life and all your belongings. This means that immediately after the holidays, there tends to be a surge in buyer interest. Those who were looking for a home before the holidays halted their search until January, and are now back into it with renewed interest.
Not only does a January listing get the resurgence in interest of shoppers that were active before the holidays, but also those who choose to begin looking in the new year, whether by their resolutions or otherwise. A lot of people vow to make drastic life changes with the turn of the year, and it comes with no surprise that sometimes those changes involve purchasing property.
With less competition out there than the infamous spring months, your January listing will be a hot commodity among these buyers.
A Final Note
A quick note to the buyers: if you want to be organized about your home search, aim to get your pre-approval for a mortgage in January. Waiting until spring will put you behind. If it comes down to a bidding war for the home you really want, having your pre-approval ready will make it easier to secure the deal. Don’t be discouraged by the winter blues; there are still listings in January and with a less competitive market, it may be the time to find your dream home.
As for sellers, listing your home in January can be surprisingly beneficial, despite all the myths and negative rumours surrounding the time of year. People are moving all throughout the year for many different reasons — some beyond their control — and will always need housing. To top it off, your home may even be more aesthetically pleasing covered in a layer of snow with winter trimmings, and come off as cozier in the cold months. Take advantage of that post-holiday shopping spike!
Whatever your unique case may be, don’t stress if you need to sell your home in January. There is no reason to worry when there are still buyers no matter the time of year. With a strategic plan, you can make the best of the situation and achieve your goals. In fact, you’ll have a head start on the rest of the real estate market, and can make the sale before the snow thaws. Then you can enjoy your spring without the burden of moving house!
Spectrum Realty provides real estate services in the Greater Toronto Area. To speak to one of our representatives, call us at (416) 736-6500 or contact us here.