Winter is a good time to sell or buy

house for sale in winterQ. Is winter a good or bad time to sell our current home and purchase a new home?

A. Overall, winter is a good time to sell or buy.For sellers, inventory can be scarce, leading to higher demand, which can result in multiple offers. Buyers are more intent, as they have less choices and typically have a serious need to move without delaying to warmer months.

  1. This winter there is a larger pool of able buyers as we see interest rates remain at decade-long historic lows.As a result of lower mortgage interest costs, buyers can dedicate higher amounts toward purchase price, and this expands their buying power. This is a bonus for the seller on both sides of the transaction if buying and selling.

  2. Due to extremely moderate weather this winter to date, items generally buried under snow, such as landscapes and roofs (usually a mystery for winter buyers until spring), are likely to be readily accessible for viewing and inspection.

  3. Buyers have an opportunity to visit homes during the heating season and physically experience the effectiveness of the heating system.

  4. As the market does slowdown from its summer rush, lenders, appraisers and inspectors are more readily available than during the hectic mid-year months. This can help eliminate wait time for services, which can be stressful and hinder, delay or kill the deal.

  5. Sellers can take advantage of the cooler weather to make their homes a warm haven to enter. A seasonal wreath on the door, winter decor, fresh flowers for a touch of spring, and comforters on easy chairs all help to welcome buyers. Display seasonal photos of the home and landscape to showcase summer greenery.

  6. Sellers should consider brightening their homes by washing all walls, switch plates and doors. Winter light can highlight grime. Washing windows inside and out on a temperate day makes your home sparkle in gloomy weather and adds great appeal.
    Keep walkways shoveled and ice-free, and take a broom to the exterior where cobwebs may linger around lights, windows and trim.

Contact your local REALTOR and have them review what actions would best benefit you as a seller and for the buying side; arrange to have your home purchase budget determined in advance by a lender.

Nancy Philbrick is a REALTOR with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty, Bedford.  Nancy enjoys working with both buyers and sellers throughout Southern, NH.

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