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The conventional wisdom is to put your house on the market in the spring. However, there are some possible advantages to testing the market in the fall instead. You should carefully weigh your options and the local market conditions in Fenton, Michigan to decide if it might be worthwhile to list your home a few months early. In this post, we will go over the biggest factors that determine the best time to list your home so you'll know what to look for as you research this decision.
The first thing to think about is how many other sellers are doing the same thing. The fewer houses there are on the market, the more yours will stand out because there is less competition. All the buyers will be coming to you because there won't be many options, and as a result you can get a better price and close out faster. Of course, this is not always the case. There might be few houses on the market for a reason: the market could just be poor in the winter. A good way to check this is to look at how old the listings are in winter. If they are 50 days old or more, then that is likely a sign that there are not many buyers. You do not want your listing to linger. The older it gets, the less likely it is that you will be able to close a favorable deal. This is especially true in the winter because there is always a wave of new listings in the spring. If you list in winter and it takes your home a while to get attention, then you will be eclipsed by the new listings when spring rolls around, hurting your chances even more. Younger listings might indicate that the market is healthier for you, but this is not as strong a signal as seeing old listings, because there might just not be many people listing their houses in Fenton at the time. The bottom line is that winter can be a nice opportunity if you get the timing right, but if you see a lot of old listings you should be concerned about the strength of local demand.

You also need to be careful about pricing. There are less people looking to buy in the winter, so that means you have reduced odds of being able to get multiple offers at once and parley them into a bidding war. It is more likely that you will get a single offer and you will have to decide on whether to negotiate with that buyer or wait for a potential next offer later on. If you are priced way above the market average for homes of your size and condition, then you will get many fewer interested parties. Try not to price too much above that average, or you risk losing your shot at a deal. You cannot count on that one buyer with deep pockets because in the wintertime, they might never arrive. If the market seems to be churning and you see a lot of turnover on the listings, then you can try to be a little more adventurous, but without that signal you should play it safe. It would be very bad if you had to lower your asking price in the winter to get some attention, and then lower it again to stand out from the new spring crowd that rolls in shortly afterward. 

Because of the harsher environment, buyers in winter are much more attentive to heating, insulation, the state of the windows and gutters, the paint job, the efficiency of the appliances, and other things that might not be as important in the summer. When it's cold out, buyers are evaluating your home for how it stands up to the weather and how comfortable it is. This is less of an issue in the spring because then questions like how well the house retains heat are hypothetical for the most part: buyers are mostly imagining the future performance of the house, not observing how it feels in action. You will need to pay special attention to all of these details if you list in the winter, which will likely involve sinking some money into the house. New paint, some sealing on the outside, perhaps a new water heater or appliances- all of these things could get a buyer's attention in a positive way. It is much easier to make a sale when you can tell the buyer that the house has a new, efficient water heater as they are enjoying its warmth. 

It's a sad fact that Fenton's winters do not put houses in favorable conditions. The gray sky and dead trees are not exactly picturesque, so it's hard to rely on nature for a good frame for the house. You might need to make some extra effort to spruce up the house and yard. Get some new and fresh plants, and keep them fresh. Think about painting in warm colors and placing hospitable accents in the home, like extra blankets or pillows. If you have a fireplace, make it a big centerpiece. For a subtle hint, try putting up some pictures of what the house or the local area look like in the best weather. That will help the buyers visualize the home at its best. 

The bottom line is that you might be able to get a decent deal months ahead of time if you come onto the market in the winter. However, you need to have the right timing and you will likely need to invest a little more into some of the amenities. You'll need to do some extra research to make sure you are making the right choice, but if you do that, you stand to gain significantly.
When To Sell Your House, Summer Vs. Winter Market


Posted by Jennifer L on


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