Around this time of year, my sellers start asking me, “Should I take my house off of the market for the winter?”
The short answer: NO.
I do not recommend taking your home off of the market during the winter months. Though this is traditionally the slowest time of the year for home shopping, there are many reasons to KEEP your home listed during this time of year:
- There may not be as many shoppers out looking in December as in May, but the ones that are out there are more serious buyers. For example: many people who are planning to relocate in the spring use winter break to shop for homes.
- Since many sellers still follow the traditional “wisdom” of cancelling their listing for the winter, or waiting ’til spring to list, you have less competition for buyers’ attention.
- Market time doesn’t matter, PRICE DOES. Traditionally, a major reason to take a home off the market during the notoriously slow time was to stop the accumulation market time, or days on market (DOM). That used to be a factor: if a home was on the market for 100 days, everyone would automatically think, “What’s wrong with that house?” No longer. Today’s real estate agent understands, and will tell their buyers, that with the unprecedented free-fall of the housing market over the past 5-6 years, ”days on market” is not the factor that it once was.
- Don’t wait for prices to rebound this spring. We just don’t know when – or even IF – this will happen! Therefore, keep your home on the market and price it RIGHT. You’ll have less competition to contend with and may actually get a better price than you will a few months from now.
- The winter chill and holidays present the perfect opportunity to dress up your home as a cozy, wonderful place to live. Light a fire, bake something warm and yummy-smelling, and put up tasteful, subtle holiday decor to make your home an inviting place that a buyer could see themselves in. Check out my post Cozy Up Your Home for Winter, for tips.
- Over 300 homes went under contract on the North Shore* between December 1, 2010-February 15, 2011!
- And, finally, you need just ONE buyer! Don’t risk the chance that they will come along when you are OFF the market!
*Includes: Highland Park, Deerfield, Glencoe, Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Glenview, Northbrook and Highwood, IL.
This post is categorized under Real Estate 101, which shares insights, information and advice for current or future home sellers and buyers. For more information on North Shore, IL real estate, contact me at Stephanie.Hofman@cbexchange.com or 847-652-1902.