A qualified buyer in winter is generally a very serious buyer. If you live in Michigan, and are considering placing your home on the market, do not buy into the old saw that you should wait until spring to place your home on the market. Too many sellers hold off for this, thinking that there are fewer buyers, and they might have more ‘luck' when the weather gets warmer.
I have found the opposite philosophy to be true. The reason you should consider placing your home on the market during the heavy winter months of December, January, February and March is because every other seller is applying the strategy of pulling out until spring. This means less competition.
You might say, well aren't there fewer buyers in the winter? Sure there are, but there are still buyers. It is important to note that a buyer that will request a showing during a heavy snow period in the winter is generally a very serious buyer.
Remember this: A qualified buyer in winter is generally a serious buyer. Last winter, I was working with some buyers that needed to buy a home in January 2010. They were serious. Their home had burned down, and they had an insurance settlement coming within weeks, and I had already gotten them pre-approved for a new loan.
They were living in a hotel until we found them a new home. They wanted to buy, and get to closing as soon as possible, so they could get moved in and become reestablished. We were shopping in the $250,000 to $300,000 range and we practically saw every single home available in the area they wanted to live in before they agreed on one.
However, the trouble I was having as a Realtor was that there were so few homes on the market in that price range in January, because so many sellers had pulled theirs until spring. When we found the perfect home, and closed in February, I could not help but think later in April and May when I was seeing all the new listings hit the market on how many sellers missed this opportunity? I mean, the couple bought a beautiful home, but they did compromise on some things they said they wanted when they found the one home with so many features they never thought about, and fell in love.
The home they bought was actually one I showed them because I was running out of homes to show them. The husband wanted a pole barn, and this house did not have one. I showed it to them after we had looked at three or four others that day, and this was kind of a ‘throw in' for our itinerary because it was on the way home. I did not think there would be any interest because there was no pole barn. To my surprise, they fell in love with the home, and decided to write an offer.
I cannot help but wonder if they would have made the same selection in the springtime, with 4X the available homes for sale to look at? One can never know, but it is for certain that they were serious buyers in the dead of winter, and when they found the home they liked, they bought it.
So any seller out there as we approach December that may be considering pulling their home from the market until spring would be wise to reconsider. I recommend that you place your home on the market in the winter, and take advantage of the lack of competition.
A qualified buyer in winter is generally a serious buyer, and if your home fits the profile of what that buyer is looking for, wouldn't you want the list to be as short as possible? I would. For help on selling your home in Southwest Michigan in the winter, give me a call at: 269-441-8182 or visit my website at: www.michaeldelaware.com.
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