Now that the winter months are upon us, many people think that real estate industry comes nearly to a stand-still. Individuals who have been thinking about putting their property on the market decide to wait until spring, because no one looks to buy this time of year, right? This common belief is actually one of the largest misconceptions in the real estate world. According to a recent article from the Miami Herald, a national statistical study found that this isn’t necessarily the case.
Winter technically runs from December 21 to March 20, and is surprisingly a great time of year to list, shop, negotiate, and buy a house for some. The study analyzed home listing, sale price and time-on-market data between 2010 and fall 2014 from all around the country. From the analysis, researchers at Redfin, an online realty brokerage, were able to conclude that listing your home in the months of December, January, February and March actually gives you a better chance at selling above asking price than if you list from June through November. While April and May remain the busiest, and often most successful time of buying/selling, the winter months take a close second. If your goal is to sell quickly, February was found to be the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes selling within 90 days. Researchers admitted that there aren’t many advantages to listing in the winter months, but if a house is priced right and shows well, it can sell any time of year.
Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin claims that “shoppers who are active during the winter months are serious buyers. Most people are not window-shopping in December and January, as many do in the spring months.” Additionally, some sellers pull their unsold properties from the market during the winter/holiday season because of convenience and a hope that they will fair better in the spring. This leaves a smaller inventory of active listings, lessening the competition for those who list this time of year. According to Paul Stone, an agent in Redfin’s Denver office, many large corporations transfer employees and hire new ones early in the year. With this transient period comes real estate activity, fueling the fire even more. The bottom line is that the real estate market does not go dormant in the winter months. Buying and selling still goes on daily, especially in strong housing markets, such as ours, here in Miami. It’s time to put this real estate myth to rest, and embrace the winter months as a prosperous period for both buyers and sellers.