With some of the first snow on the ground in Kelowna & the Central Okanagan valley some Sellers & potential Sellers will be asking should I list my home for sale during the winter months?
As many of you will know the Winter months in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Real Estate Markets tend to be slower, so logic says, “I shouldn’t list my home for sale at this time of year I should wait until Spring – right?”
The answer could be “yes” or “no”.
Questions to ask yourself from a Real Estate Market Perspective.
- What is the State of the Real Market for my type of Property? Is it a Buyers, Sellers or Balance Market? To find out ask your Real Estate Professional. If there is less competition and still Buyers looking, you may get a better price for your home.
- Does my Property appeal to local Buyers, Recreational Buyers, Investors or all of the above? With road and weather conditions being more challenging during the winter months, some buyers don’t tend to travel, from out of town or out of Province, to look at Homes, or they look when they come into town to visit Family, such as long weekends & Christmas. If your Property mainly appeals to local Buyers, they tend to keep looking all year round.
- Does my Property appeal to a certain type of Buyer? For example, Condos in and around the University area typically have Parent & Investor Buyers looking in the Spring ready for Summer possession before the start of the UBCO & Okanagan College School year. I do have some buyers who start looking as early as January, so at least making your Real Estate Agent aware that you are thinking of Selling is a good idea, in case they have someone looking.
Questions to ask yourself about the inconvenience factors of listing your Home For Sale.
- I am going away this Winter. Is it going to be ok having people coming through my home when I’m not there? You need to make your Agent aware of this so that they can remind all Agents to switch all the lights off and lock up. If you switch your water off, you will need to put signs on the Toilet, so that people don’t use them. If you’re not comfortable with this you shouldn’t list.
- Do you have lots of Family coming at Christmas- time? If so, you may not want them being asked to leave because you have a showing. An option would be to delay listing until after Christmas.
- When it snows do you have someone that can clear the driveways & paths? From a safety aspect and for making it easy for Buyers to view Driveways and Paths need to be cleared.
- Do I want people bringing in additional snow and dirt to my home? You need to make it easy for people to take their footwear on and off and have a mat nearby. Again, if this is not for you, you shouldn’t list when there is snow on the ground.
- If I get an offer am I willing and able to move during the Winter? If the snow and cold will create a challenge for you moving, you should consider waiting until spring.
- Am I ok potentially having fewer showings? There are usually a lot more people viewing homes during the Spring and Summer. As a Seller this makes you feel good, but there is an argument that says more serious & qualified buyers tend to look during winter.
- Do you have a nice bright Home or does it have a tendency to seem a little dark? With shorter days & overall less sunlight having the correct lighting will be very important in showcasing your Home.
- Are you on a Personal Deadline? Sometimes your own personal circumstances mean it’s time to sell and the Market will be the way it is!
Other things to bear in mind
- Office Relocations - a number of them take place in January and February.
- You have some small repairs and maintenance to take care of - in the Okanagan it can be easier to find a Contractor or Handyman to help during the winter months.