Should You List Your Home In January?

One of the questions often asked by perspective home sellers is should I list my home in January or wait until spring? There really is no right or wrong answer. Much of the decision making process should center around the personal circumstances of the individual, along with local market conditions.

For example what if there are very few homes for sale where you’re located in January? Low inventory is fantastic for home sellers. Basic economics of supply and demand tells us that most things sell for more money when there is less of them available. It has been proven time and again this applies to housing. Unfortunately many people assume incorrectly that homes do not sell in the winter.

Aside from holiday festivities, winter is a time when most people wind down and wait out the cold for warmer weather. For home sellers, it can seem like winter time is a less than ideal time to try and list a house. Surely it is better to try and sell in spring, when everyone is feeling a bit more energetic and motivated?

This assumption is sometimes is unfounded, and has led many sellers to miss out on great selling opportunities that come with winter. In fact, it may be easier to sell your home in January than in July.


The Statistics Are in Your Favor

Redfin, a real estate organization, took a look at home sales from 2010 through 2014 to determine how well homes sold based on the season. The findings were surprising for many people, because they went against the standard assumption that winter was a time to avoid trying to sell a home. Redfin found that homes did sell best in spring, but only by a small margin. The next best time to sell a home turned out to be winter, followed by summer and then fall. The winter home sales were only one percentage point lower than the figures for spring, with summer trailing quite a bit behind.

Homes in winter often sell quickly and for a good price, something worth thinking about if you are in the position to sell in January, February or March. Maybe listing your home for sale now instead of waiting until spring is not a bad idea after all?


Buyers Are Motivated

Buyers are like everyone else – they want to be warm and cozy when the temperatures are frigid outside. So if a buyer chooses to leave the comforts of home to look at housing stock, he or she is already more motivated than a buyer going out in the balmier months. Buyers are working with Realtors just like you are, and are given the same information that you are given.

They know that winter is not the most popular time for home sales, but are trying to buy anyway. They may have a child on the way, or they may want to start out the new year with a new home, they may have to get out of their current living situation out of necessity – whatever the reason, they are serious about purchasing a house.

There is Often Less Housing Stock


Plenty of sellers are still convinced that winter is not the time to try and sell a house. If their houses are on the market, they may pull them off as winter comes around. If they are considering selling, they may put off the sale until the weather gets warmer.

Because sellers are convinced that winter is bad for sales, there are often less houses available for buyers to look at. The situation can become a perfect storm of sorts, with your house perfectly positioned for motivated buyers, all thanks to the weather.

This is absolutely the case in the Ozarks. Every year like clock work you start to see those who have been unsuccessful during the summer and fall months taking their homes off the market come November-December. Many of these homeowners will put their homes back on the market come springtime.

Buyers Are Emotional During The Winter

The holiday season can be one of the best times of the year, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Emotions tend to run high, especially during the early winter months and as the holiday season winds down. Emotional buyers are more likely to make the decision to buy a home, perhaps your home.

They may be thinking of filling the home with their own family, or they may just be ready to end the search and settle down. Emotional buyers are the kind of buyers you want if you want to sell.

Corporate Moves Happen in January

January is the most popular month for corporate transfers. People who are transferring for work are highly motivated buyers, and are limited on how much time they can spend looking for a house. If you are in an area where people tend to get transferred for work, you can take advantage of the situation by offering your home for sale in January. If you are planning on buying and selling a home around the same time frame, selling in January may be a benefit.

Many home owners need to sell a home first in order to put themselves in a better position to buy the next one. The vast majority cannot afford to carry two mortgages at once or are even comfortable about the thought of doing so. When you don’t have your home sold and the spring market hits with lots of great properties coming on the market, you will not be in a position to buy. In many circumstances it makes sense to get your home sold before the spring market.

Final Thoughts

If you decide to sell your home in January or shortly thereafter, it may actually be a great time! Give Team 24/7 a call! (417) 879-7247

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