1. Contrary to popular belief, the “spring market” in Toronto usually starts in February (and sometimes at the end of January). Some of the fiercest bidding wars in the city are fought on our coldest days. The Buyers are ready in February (and want to close “in the spring”), but the Sellers all think they should wait until April or May – which of course is when EVERYONE decides to list their houses for sale. More inventory in the real spring means less competition – not good if you’re a Seller.
2. Buyers who don their winter boots, toques and mittens to go house hunting are serious. They aren’t just looky-loos or nosy neighbours. They are motivated and ready to make a move.
3. Relocation happens all year, and January is the biggest month for relocations. Is it because companies have new budgets and business plans? Or maybe companies want to introduce their employees to the worst of Toronto weather. No matter the reason, the relocating Buyer is motivated and can make a quick decision.
4. If you’ve got a fireplace and a cozy living room or a boring backyard your house might actually look better in the winter. Furry blankets on the couch and softly scented candles might just create the ideal atmosphere for Buyers.
5. New Year, New You. Many of us (me included) look at the arrival of January as a time of new beginnings. In between visits to the gym and eating healthy food, a new home purchase might be just the thing to ring in a new year. And if you’ve been meaning to downsize or move to a different neighbourhood, this might be your opportunity for a new beginning too!
6. If you’ve invested in making your home energy-efficient, winter is the perfect time to show that energy efficiency off. Potential Buyers who live in drafty houses and cringe when the gas bill arrives will undoubtedly welcome a high-efficiency furnace, new windows and attic insulation.
7. Fewer properties on the market mean it’s easier for the marketing for your home to stand out. If you’re one of only a few houses on the market in your neighbourhood, you’ll undoubtedly get more people at open houses too. We always notice an increase in traffic to our website in the cold months-shouldn’t those Buyers be seeing your home?
8. Curb appeal matters, and turning on twinkly lights is so much easier than weeding your garden every day! Of course, you’ll need to shovel and use generous amounts of snow melter, but isn’t that better than mowing the lawn every day?
9. Fewer showings. I know, that sounds counter-productive, but do you really want 100 people traipsing through your house? I’d rather have 30 qualified and motivated Buyers any day.
10. Money, money, money! The highest sold price to listing price ratios usually happen in the cold months in Toronto. I don’t think I’ve ever worked a February in real estate where I didn’t want to sell my own house.
If you’re thinking about selling this winter and want to find out what your home is worth or want to discuss the pros and cons of listing your home in the winter, get in touch. It’s never too early to start planning for your sale.