Jan 7 | Posted by Barry Cohen

It wasn’t that long ago that the winter market was considered a “lull” from a real estate point of view – but those days are long gone.  The red-hot market in the GTA no longer experiences that dramatic drop as anxious buyers outnumber the available inventory in this area.  It is true that January, February and March report fewer sales than the frenzied spring market, but the winter is an ideal time to buy and/or sell a property.  Before making the decision to wait until spring to list your property, take these points into consideration.

There will be a number of homeowners that decide to put off listing their property for any number of reasons, but those homes that are available will have less competition to contend with, so your odds of selling increase.  As spring approaches, the market is generally flooded with new listings, meaning that your property could potentially be overlooked simply because there are so many others to choose from.

Winter buyers are serious and highly motivated with a general sense of urgency to find a home, either because of job relocation, a growing family, urgent personal reasons or because they have a sold a property with a looming closing date. Whatever the reason, buyers that are willing to face the elements are serious about finding a home. While it’s true that the spring market will bring out more buyers, it also brings out a lot of “shoppers” that will only make a move if they find the exact home of their dreams at the price they want to pay.  Serious buyers are who you want viewing your property.

Curb appeal does suffer in the winter months and your beautiful landscaping and immaculate lawn is replaced with bare trees, grey snow and snow banks, but it gives potential buyers a firsthand opportunity to experience how your home stands up to the test of wind, ice and snow.  Walking in from the cold to a warm and cozy environment is appealing and buyers can check windows and doors for drafts and find out how well your furnace distributes warm air throughout the living space.  Nothing says home like a log burning in the fireplace, and the smell of something savoury in the kitchen.  Potential buyers can also inspect your roof and eavestroughs to make sure there are no leaks or ice dam issues, which can be far more costly to repair than landscaping issues.

The onset of the spring market often has professional realtors juggling a number of sellers and buyers, in the winter months they have more time to dedicate to the marketing, networking and selling of your property.  Other professionals like home inspectors, real estate lawyers, lenders and movers experience the same onslaught in the spring, so a winter sale can reduce wait times and possible delays in closing.

If you are debating whether to list your GTA property now or wait until the spring, I would be happy to meet with you, answer your questions, weigh the pros and cons of winter selling, address your concerns and provide you with a professional, accurate evaluation of your home’s current market value.