Study Suggests Winter Is Best Time to Sell a Home

Forget conventional wisdom. The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter.

A study by real estate brokerage Redfin finds that sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and it is a season that brings out more focused and active sellers and buyers and fewer tire-kickers looking for home design ideas.

Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014. The study found that February is “historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin’s research.

WinterSoldWhat’s more, the study found that winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February and March than listings from June through November.

Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until the spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings help sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. And the research showed that many corporations transfer employees or hire new ones early in the year, creating opportunities for winter sellers from very motivated purchasers.

Sellers shouldn’t worry about the holidays hampering their chances either. A 2011 study conducted by® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell.

Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter:

Stage it. Stagers can arrange furniture so that selling-points in a home don’t get overlooked, paint rooms inviting colors and have the know-how to give a home a cozy winter feel. Display photos of the home that also show it in warmer summer months. And don’t forget to turn up the thermostat in the home so buyers are comfortable from the moment they step through the door.

Price it right. “If it’s priced properly, it will sell any day of the year,” Katie Severance, a broker for RE/MAX in Upper Montclair, N.J., told The Associated Press.

Show the way. Keep sidewalks and driveways clear of snow, ice and leaves – giving potential buyers a clear path to your front door.

Light it up. There’s less daylight in the winter months so it’s even more important to keep all the lights on as well as open blinds and drapes for natural light. Keep the home well-lit even when you’re not there so the home still looks inviting to passersby who drive by in the evenings after work.

Clear the Clutter. Open up the space and enhance the home’s appearance by removing excess belongings. That’s where Dino’s Storage comes in. We have great storage facilities and reasonable rates for you to store those out-of-season and overwhelming belongings.

Winter Prep Saves Money

We have had an early taste of frigid wintry weather, including substantial snow in some areas. It’s a taste of the season to come when we spend more time indoors and a reminder that there are things we can do to winter-proof our homes.

thermostatAt writer Mikey Rox offers his tips to get through the winter happier and healthier. First on his list: Acclimate to the temperature by setting thermostats down, not up. Gradually lowering the thermostat, by a degree a week to a point where you still feel comfortable, can save bundles of money. Sealing or wrapping windows can add to the effect.

Uninvite the Pests

Pests hate winter, so seal areas of the home where pests can enter. Closing up cracks on the outside can prevent rodents from entering, and storing firewood at least 20 feet from the house will help keep mice and ants away.

Before snow sets in, clearing vents and chimneys can avoid carbon monoxide backups. Leaves, vines, shrubs, and plants can all create blockages that can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home.

Rox also suggests winterizing pipes to keep them from freezing and possibly bursting. This includes sprinkler systems, exterior pipes, and air conditioners.

Be Prepared for the Storm

snowshovelDon’t forget about the supplies needed to take care of the outside of your home either. Make sure you have rakes, shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk salt and other winter cleanup items that you’ll need to keep everybody safe who will step on to your property before, during and after a winter-weather event.

Check or install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Both fire and carbon monoxide can be deadly and silent. Manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every five years.

Act Now to Stay Well

flushotGive your body the best chance of avoiding, or at least fighting, the flu by getting a flu shot.

It also makes sense to keep a first-aid kit in your car at all times, and in winter add hand warmers, flares, heavy blankets, an emergency phone and a few days’ non-perishable food and water in the event that you’re ever stranded. These items literally could be the difference between life and death.