Home Buying in 52403>Question Details

Dave Langston, Home Seller in 52403

I have heard that January is 'surprisingly' a great month to sell a home. That seems counter-intuitive but what do you say?

Asked by Dave Langston, 52403 Wed Jan 8, 2014

The snow and cold seem to be hard factors against marketing a home but as one person told me, only interested buyers are calling for appointments to see properties.

Help the community by answering this question:


I am situated on the south shore of Lake Michigan, just one hour east of Chicago in the NW corridor of Indiana between Illinois and SW Michigan. Our inventory consists of both primary and vacation residences. More than the weather, the economic conditions in Illinois have created a wave of new buyers in our area, buyers relocating full time all along this tier of counties. Lake and Porter counties in NW Indiana have highly regarded school systems, homes are more affordable, taxes much lower and the overall quality of life is excellent. LaPorte County IN is also experiencing steady activity thru the season of both relocations as well as buyers seeking vacation homes both on the shore and acreages in rural settings. We are, candidly, short of good homes to sell well qualified and sophisticated buyers. It is an excellent time, here and now to list a home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
counter-intuitive due to cold and snow. Yes I see your point on that. The market had so few listings in m area that January has been busy. It just depends upon the inventory, location and market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
Hi Dave. It's funny--I was just telling someone this at the grocery store. Josie is right on. Additionally, inventory in January is still relatively low compared to what buyers will experience in the spring and summer, so you have less competition with other sellers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
I agree that it can be a great time to sell. The market does pick up at the beginning of the year. However, what is best really depends on the home, the weather and your situation. It is true that buyers in the winter tend to be more serious and some buyers will have a deadline for finding a home and need to find something right away. Also, if your home will get lost in all the spring inventory then listing earlier when fewer homes are for sale is probably best. If you can wait and have a home that stands out then it might be worth waiting for spring and maybe you will have multiple offers! If you need to sell right away then the time of year doesn't really matter. Ultimately, a good home at the right price will sell any time of year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 28, 2014
When inventory is down and Buyer's have looked at everything on the market, new listings get fantastic results. I just listed a home in Sherwood, OR on 2/6/14 and had 4 showings that afternoon during a snow storm and accepted an offer the following day with a possible back-up offer. Every market is unique, and your Broker can provide you with valuable information to decide when to list.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 8, 2014
Wrong Identity Trulia... I am a Broker with RE/MAX INTEGRITY in Depoe Bay, OR
Flag Sat Feb 8, 2014
Yes, that is true. Also there are fewer homes on the market so you have less competition, buyers have less to choose from, so they make up their mind faster, especially if they have already sold their home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 6, 2014
Thanks for your question Dave. If it's not on the market, it's not going to sell. That I'm sure of.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 6, 2014
In the Denver Metro area, since the inventory is so low…NOW is an awesome time to sell. The market has been so busy the past year I have not had a listing for more than 4-days.
My Buyers typically write an offer the first two weeks out looking right now. I don't remember a better time to sell in years and now is a great time to just do it. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, it doesn't matter in the Denver Metro Area. It may be cold outside but our real estate market is on FIRE!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
I am in Saratoga Springs, NY and we are always busy. The weather doesn't matter to people looking for a home. I guess we are used to it. When you list in the winter, the inventory is lower and less competition. A great time to sell here.
Wendy Gilligan
Keller Williams
518 860 3109
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
January was good to me. I sold 5 homes last month. Then again, most months are successful, but not always predictable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Sold one home last month. The Buyers stuck with me through the short sale process and they got a very good deal!!
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
We are snowing hard again. January has been slow always, but February should be very good.
If it stops snowing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
In years past spring was the typical start of selling season, Triggered by the desire to move during summer break from school.

The Market is now driven more by low prices and interest rates. Read explanation http://chooseahomenow.com/choose-a-home-now-or-pay-higher-rates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
The fact of the matter is that homes sell every month....It's just that some months in certain locations see greater numbers of sales. Realistically, if you have the right home, in the right location, being offered at the right price, in my opinion, it really doesn't matter what month it is. It will sell. Keep in mind it only takes one buyer to make a sale!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
January 2014 has come out of the gate running in Columbia SC. I know our winters are not as difficult as some cities but we have had some exceptionally cold days and snow. with that said it j=has not stop the buyers from looking and making offers on their dream homes. They are financially prepared and have been pre approved to purchase. My advise is do not miss out on the opportunity to sell your home because of the weather because the buyers are not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Jan 2014 is off to a great start. In Chicago we have been blasted with cold temps and piles of snow. That is not stopping the buyers from looking and seriously making their decision as soon as they find the right home or condo. They are prepared financially and pre-approved. Why are they looking in January and February? They have their weekends to dedicate to their search. They are anxious to utilize their winter time and be productive. Once they find their home they have so many things to think about, plan ahead and day dream about the move. It helps their winters fly by in a very good way.

My buyers are coming from the City of Chicago and follow a train track if they will need the train for work. So, Oak Park, Elmhurst, Lombard, Glen Ellyn all the way to Wheaton are the people I service. Along with Downers Grove which has an express train and riders are on the train for 20 minutes. Downers Grove & Westmont are hidden treasures. Reasonable priced homes with lower taxes than other suburbs. Still get a thriving downtown, local movie theaters and charming atmosphere, along with well rated schools.

I have sold in all the suburbs listed and others such as Hinsdale, Oakbrook, La Grange, Clarendon Hills and Western Springs. I have a listing in Downers Grove at 514 Chicago Ave within walking distance to downtown and the train.

Love to help buyers and sellers in those markets. Call me if your looking for an experience Realtor.
Diane M. Karpman, Koenig & Strey Real Living 847-636-0200
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
If you or someone you know is considering selling a home in the Edmonds area, this is a great time to come on the market with inventory down and interest rates still favorable. With fewer competing homes available on the market, it puts sellers in a stronger position than when there is excessive inventory for buyers to choose from. For a custom evaluation of your Mukilteo, Edmonds, Lynnwood or Shoreline Washington home, just click the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I believe it's a great time to market the property. Since there will be less competition and usually only serious buyers come out to viiew.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I would agree that those intrepid souls willing to brave the winter elements tend to be more serious buyers and also there is less competition.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Winter time is actually a great time for sellers to get their homes listed on the market. The real benefit to them is that the competition of other homes on the market is much less this time of year than in the spring and summer. This January has proven that there are tons of buyers ready to purchase and not many homes to choose from.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Once the holidays are over it seems like activity really picks up, both online and calls for showings. A market ready home, priced competitively coming on the market in the winter when inventory is low has a great chance of selling quickly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
That is true. You don't find many people willing to look at homes when it is really cold unless they are serious buyers. Also, many people want to get into their homes before summer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I have this question asked of me all of the time. When the house is show ready is when you should put it on the market. True Buyers are always looking. I had 4 properties go under contract in December and close right before and after Christmas. Always a good time to sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
January was a great month for sales here in St. Augustine, FL. Inventory of homes is low so it's a primo time to list a home for sale! Expecting February to continue the strong start of this year!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I have always sold and listed more homes in the Winter than the other months, why? I feel only interested buyers are shopping.
Personally it depends on the market as well and in our area there is a shortage of inventory.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
January I have found is a slow month. everyone is tired from holidays. February will be a good month providing the weather doesn't hurt us. February has the pent up demand that has been saying, I have too much to do.

You will see them coming out in force,get those Open houses going!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Depending on where you live, will also have a great deal to do with when to market your home.

I live in a tourist area where Seniors come to visit in the summer months. Year after year they come in their RV's. Finally, when they arrive one year, they say, its time to buy. We love this area and we come every year, why not make this our home base.

Year after year the population grows as more and more begin to make this their home.

With this, you also have the seniors who now wish to move back to where their children live. Or they are going to move into a Retirement Home.

Originally, the North West Coast of California and the South West Coast of Oregon, was an area where the avid fisherman came to make their catch of Salmon.

So, with that you have to think the Vacation areas are becoming more and more the Retirement areas. The West Coast of Crescent City, Oregon and Brookings (Harbor) Oregon is what is called the Banana Belt when it comes to weather. Our winters are very mild and can see temps of 70's through-out the winter months. Oh sure, the rains can come and they do, but the next day or 5 days,,,,LOL we have summer again.

So, in our area, the market is stronger in the Spring and Summer months. The winter months, December through March, are just a bit slower. This particular time is a GREAT time for the buyers.

Lee Rice
Bayside Realty Smith River office
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I have always been successful in regards to selling homes AND land in late Fall and early Winter. So many homeowners take their homes off the market at during this time, which leads to an inventory shortage. Let's face it...there are many buyers who need to find homes due to job transfers or other factors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Yes there is little to no competition and anyone needing to move will be looking. I have had more customer inquiry in January then November and December. The cold definitely has people looking more and if they want to move in May or June, they usually write offers in March. Realtors also encourage buyers to write offers before Spring pricing increases. Also your house will have to be. In the best condition and layout for the money when competing amongst many others in 2 more months.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Winter is a great time for seller. The reason? Supply and demand determine value. With a low supply of competing inventory, and buyers constantly searching for properties, winter is a great time for sellers. If you are interested in selling in the D.C. Metro, call us to understand how to take advantage of opportunities in the market now!
Delia McCormick, Realtor, Washington Fine Properties, 301-977-7273
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Only serious buyers look in January and February. Sellers are not competing with lots of other homes on the market. So it is a great time to list! My homes that I lusted early this month are already under contract. Also my buyers who started their search this month are under contract. It's a win situation for everyone!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
Since January is now gone, I guess the topic is, do homes sell in Winter months? With interest rates predicted to start climbing upward, it might be a good idea to list or buy sooner than later. As a seller you might wonder why do I care about higher interest rates, I am selling? The pool of people trying to buy your home will shrink every time the interest rates climb. There is also the obvious, you will probably be getting a loan for your next home also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
I have sold many Homes in the winter Months. I believe it is very true that they are very serious Buyers.

Most of the Buyers loved the warmth of Christmas decorations and the wonderful smells of the season.

February in past years have been our best month, I worked for a Builder for 10 years and kept records each month, the month that came up with the top sales was February.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
January is a great month to sell a house. I have 3 house sales this month and many buyers I am working with, qualified and ready to purchase. The serious buyers are out and the snow doesn't discourage them. Wendy Gilligan Keller Williams 518 860 3109
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
It is difficult showing your home over the holidays so that is a personal decision. When it comes to photographing your home for marketing purposed, I do not recommend photographing it with holiday decorations as it tends to date the home's arrival on the market much as fallen leaves or snowfall.

While traffic tends to be slower in the winter months, buyers tend to be more serious. Additional inventory levels haven't yet swelled to springy levels so the competition is less fierce. The market has been anything but predictable over the last several years but my experience has been that mid February to mid May are the most active selling months. Once schools let out traffic begins to slow a bit as folks head off for vacations. So I say bite the bullet and charge ahead full steam.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 2, 2014
During the slow weeks after the holidays most people are still in hibernation mode so you will find that most of the buyers you encounter will be smart, savvy and ready to buy. If you have a home on the market in January inventory is typically lower so there is less competition. I think you must make sure the features that are not visible during the colder months, ie., outdoor plantings, pools, etc. are represented in professional photographs or on video. Once the "high season" begins in the Spring and more homes become available for sale the competition can make a home that has been through the winter seem like yesterday's news.. But, I do think that January can be an opportune month …..

Victoria Droumbakis
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Tom Crimmins Realty
Staten Island,NY
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Here in the Northeast it's a great time for two reasons: Many people wait until Spring to put their homes on the market, so there is less competition. The buyers who are out looking in the winter tend to be more serious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
looking from experience and statistics.( real data ) for homes sold in Florida. It appears that January is actually a slow month for sales. According to 2012 and 2013 January sales for each month. Sales were slow in January and February and picking up in March thru October only to slow again in November and pick up a little in December .

I am sure for the states with cold weather any month in the winter would be less appealing for buyers to walk around inthe freezing cold and moving furniture in the snow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
I struggle with listing a home during the Winter months because the home does not present itself in it's best light, and as a result a possible reduction in sales price. One way to get around this is to have the seller take pictures of their home during the Spring and Summer and leave them out for buyers to view. The fact that there are few listings on the market during the Winter months supports that Spring is a better time to market a home.

Homes with many outdoor ammenities such as a high end swimming pool, tennis court and lush gardens should wait until the Spring to sell.

Lastly, the snow and ice can be dangerous and costly. An owner certainly doesn't want to find out that a buyer slipped and fell in their driveway or hit a stone wall that was hiding under some snow!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014
It is one of the BEST times to sell with little competition, a shortage of homes for sale and a great deal of buyers looking to buy while interest rates are still low.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014
I listed Jan 2 and am now under contract. If your home is in a desired location and at the right price, it should sell. I had lots of potential buyers come through, So they are out there. Plus MSN says rates are going up this year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014
It's amazing that all of the Realtors and brokers answered YES to this question. Realtors and Brokers get paid when a home is sold so they don't care what month it is. It's like asking a car salesman the best time to a buy a car. Most likely, they'll say, "right now." You should sell your home when it's most appealing to the largest amount of buyers. If you property shows well in a nice, sunny area, sell your property when the sun is shining. If you're selling a mountain cabin, a winter sale may be more appropriate. Don't trust Realtors/Brokers....use common sense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 21, 2014
GOOD ANSWER.. We just listed our home in sunny CA Lancaster and needless to say the wind has been blowing and its cold so who cares about the in ground pool and spa. I think we will have a lot of lookers come March. We are in a nice area with a large lot at the end of a cald sac. so I dont think we will have a problem selling the home.. But that was a gr8t answer..
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
Actually, Realtors and Brokers keep up with the local market better than anyone else, so many years of experience and working all year and selling many houses during the year does impart a professional with more knowledge....you can usually trust your Realtor ......as you can trust your Realtor with best advice on staging, painting,and which upgrades are better for selling
Flag Tue Jan 21, 2014
listing brokers, grab your shovel and your booties! Though it is sometimes challenging to deal with snow here in the Boston area, motivated buyers are waiting for new inventory to come on. The spring market seems open for business and we will work around the snow!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 21, 2014
January is a great month for home sales in my market. I reside on the Treasure Coast of Florida for the past 27 years, so weather is never the issue of concern. As a matter of fact, our busiest season is the first quarter of the year when the snowbirds flock to South Florida for the winter. Potential home buyers flood the market between Mid December through April. The key to a successful and expedited sale is pricing the home according to the true market value. Although a seller does not like to see a short sale or foreclosure on a CMA (comparative market analysis) when contemplating listing, it is an essential factor that must be considered when evaluating a list price. These days home buyers are savvy and generally knowledgeable of a particular community of interest before even contacting an agent. With such site as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Google Earth and so many more, home buyers can zoom in on communities from the comfort of their homes without having to leave their driveway. As with any transaction, success depends on the amount of time and effort applied, as well as market knowledge, understanding economic growth and building a confident, trusting relationship with your client.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
Not only are buyers more serious during the cold winter months but inventory of homes for sale is typically lower than it is in the Spring - so there is less competition - It is a great time to be on market at the right price!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
If buyers are looking in bad weather, they are serious buyers, and there are a lot of transfers done in January.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
I am in Florida, so I will just say...it is a great month to sell your home. Now for the northern folks, keep in mind that if they buy the home, they will have to live in it during the winter months as well, right? Why not look at homes to purchase, since you will live there during this time of year as well?

We have a slow season in Florida but it is because of the amount of people present, not the extremely hot temperatures. What if everyone said," we shouldn't look now, it's too hot." Wouldn't make a lot of sense, right? Also, probably less competition to do so because others think with that same process.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
January is a great month to market your home as the inventory in many towns are low and there are many interested ready buyers looking for a home now. Many owners feel because of the cold snow that we are having that it is a waste of time BUT it is now that owners put their home on the market before the competition in March.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
In the Houston area January is a great time to sell. Our inventory is at a record low. Qualified buyers are out there looking for a new home. It is hard for buyers right now because the inventory is so low.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
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