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Busting the Myths About Winter Home Sales

There was a time (okay fine, until a few weeks ago) when I thought that narwhals were fictional creatures. As a busy mom, I felt like I hit the jackpot when I stumbled into a garage sale and found a basically brand new baby Halloween costume for my son. It was perfect, warm, and sized just right. Done deal. My son will be a narwhal for Halloween. 

It wasn’t until I started telling friends that he will be “ya know, one of those pretend unicorn whales,” that I realized I know nothing about narwhals and was stunned when I googled that narwhals are not only real, but apparently it’s a very common misconception that narwhals are fictional! 

You know what else is a total misconception? The idea that you must wait until spring to sell your home. Baffled? Trust me, I know how you feel and you are going to be okay…read on.

Inventory

When more homes are on the market in the springtime, it means buyers may get to be choosier. In turn, fewer homes for buyers to choose from in the winter plays in your favor.

Holidays

Decorating a house for the holidays can be an incredibly cost-effective way to improve curb appeal and home staging. It can also instigate daydreams about being settled into a new home in time to host holiday get togethers.

Buyers are also understanding that winter holidays may mean they need to be a bit flexible on when they can view your home. Not to mention that if you head out of town for the holidays, your agent can be trusted to keep showing your house in your absence.

Motivation

Winter buyers are serious. 

Portland gets chilly in the winter, so buyers who are out on the hunt are motivated about purchasing a home. 

Winter home buyers may also be motivated to capture the tax benefits of buying a home before the year-end. If you are selling your home to buy another, these tax breaks apply to you too! Think: mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums and real estate taxes. Check with your local tax expert to learn more. 

January is also known as one of the most popular months for corporate transfers. Buyers who transfer for work are on a set timeframe and motivated to find their home quickly.

Closing Thoughts

Yes, homes in the spring are on the market for fewer days and have more curb appeal. Realtor.com reports the median days on the market for houses that sold last February was 83 days, while May saw a median of just 55 days on market (both with a decrease in days compared to the same time periods in 2017).

However, if you do decide to list your home this winter, it’s important that you keep your driveway clear, keep outside porch lights on, and take care of any roofing issues or potential leaks asap (nothing freaks a buyer out more than walking up to a house with ice dams). 

Let some light in by keeping blinds and curtains open and keep it warm inside. Highlight rooms and features that make potential buyers wanna hang out. A lil’ festive wreath on the door and comfortable-looking blanket on the couch never hurt anybody either. Crank up the cozy!

And with that, I will leave you with a narwhal fact. The prominent horn is actually an ivory tooth that grows into a swordlike, spiral tusk up to 8.8 feet long. 

Consider yourself mythbusted.