There's a reason sellers tend to favor the warmer weather months when putting their homes up for sale. When the weather is nice, buyers are more apt to drag themselves out to look at properties, but just as importantly, certain home features are better appreciated when the weather is cooperative. Your lush landscaping, for example, may be a major selling point for your home, but in the winter, you can't show it off. Similarly, you'll have an easier time enticing buyers with your in-ground swimming pool in its sparkling glory than showing them a backyard with a giant covered object smack in the middle.
But despite the drawbacks of listing a home in winter, this year, it actually pays to put your property on the market before temperatures start to rise. Here's why.
1. Low mortgage rates are attracting buyers
Mortgage rates are sitting at record lows, with the average 30-year fixed loan coming in at just over 2.7% as of this writing. While rates are unlikely to climb to, say, 3.7% anytime soon, they could slowly but surely begin to creep upward as 2021 rolls along. And that could, in turn, cause buyers to back off.
Meanwhile, right now, buyers absolutely clamoring for homes. If you list your home while rates are still unbelievably low, you may have an easier time getting a quick offer.
2. Low inventory means you can command a higher asking price
As of late November, there were 1.28 million homes available for sale on a national level, representing a 22% drop from a year prior. All told, that's just a 2.3-month supply of homes, which is roughly half the inventory needed for an equalized housing market. Right now, low inventory is giving sellers a clear upper hand, which means if you list your home this winter, you may be in a stronger position to command a higher asking price.
3. A vaccine rollout could fuel listings by spring
The distribution of coronavirus vaccines has been slow to start, but the hope is that by April or May, the majority of the public will be able to line up for their jab. And once people are vaccinated, they may be more inclined to do some of the things that fell outside their comfort zone during the pandemic, like eat at restaurants, travel, and welcome strangers into their homes for open houses.
The Millionacres bottom line
If things improve on the pandemic front -- which we should all be hoping for -- we could see an uptick in listings later in the year. As such, you're better off getting your home on the market before that happens. You'll have an easier time finding a buyer and commanding top dollar when your home is only one of seven available in your neighborhood, as opposed to 1 of 40.
Listing a home in the winter has its challenges, and you might struggle to show off certain property features when the weather is bleak. But given the state of the housing market today and where mortgage rates are, it pays to get moving if you're hoping to sell your home this year.