Traditionally this time of year throughout Lancaster County finds people consumed with prepping for the upcoming winter months and the holiday season! Presents to buy, homes to decorate, there’s always plenty to do! On top of these busy schedules, every day life is still happening as usual and many people find themselves in a position where they want or need to sell their home. This often raises the question: Do I list my home for sale now, or wait until Spring to sell?
There’s no doubt that deciding when to sell your home, as with most major life decisions, has many pros and cons. Certainly the poplar train of thought among most home owners is that the “spring market” is the best time to sell your home. While there are definitely benefits to listing in the spring, there are also major advantages to listing your home in the fall or winter months.
Here’s a look at several reasons why choosing to list your home for sale now may be better than waiting until spring:
Serious Buyers are Home Shopping
Homes are sold 365 days per year. Period. Many folks believe that home buyers do not look for homes in the winter months but that’s not the case. While many people look at homes all throughout the year, serious home buyers continue to look into the late fall and winter months because they need to find a new home.
This time of year is also great for home buyers because they can get a sense of what various neighborhoods are truly like. Whether they’re looking in Mount Joy or Manheim, Warwick or Manheim Township, they’ll be able to get a feel for what communities do to prepare and celebrate the holiday season. Are there pumpkins on porches? Christmas lights? Winter wonderland festivals? This allows buyers to get a real feel for the type of location they’d be moving in to.
It’s safe to say that a large portion of home owners throughout Lancaster feel that Spring is the best time to sell their home. Some people don’t want to deal with packing and moving in the cold weather – some find themselves too busy to consider a move. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that listing inventory on in the Lancaster real estate market drops in the late fall and winter months. Why is this a good thing for you? Those serious buyers we mentioned above have less to choose from which means a higher chance your home will be seen. It’s a simple example of supply and demand: less homes on the market means more showings and more buyers for your home.
Not only will a smaller listing inventory mean a larger demand for your home, but it also sways negotiating power in the seller’s favor. A larger demand for your home – due to less homes being available to buy – means that you are more likely to get an offer on your home and more likely to get top dollar! The home buyers who are putting out offers have less selection to choose from therefore less room to negotiate because they need to secure a contract on your home.
Lastly, if you’re able to still sell your home within 2015 you may still be able to get the tax benefits that come along with the sale of a home. On most primary residences you do not need to claim taxes of the profit of the sale of the home. As always, we recommend that you speak with your accountant or tax professional for a full and specific look at how selling your home would influence you tax return.
In short, the fall and winter real estate markets are not a time to hibernate! There are real buyers looking for great homes to call their own – and your home just may fit the bill!