It is tempting to assume that winter is a terrible time to sell a house, especially in the northern U.S. when things stop growing and blooming, even if they aren't covered in snow. But according to a 2013 study by real estate organization Redfin, updated last month, winter is actually the best time of year to sell your home.
February, according to the Redfin survey, is the best month to list a home for sale, with 66% of those homes selling within 90 days. And during the December to March timeframe, more homes sell for above their asking prices than they do during the spring and summer months. Perhaps some of us, sick of winters up North and dreaming of a golf community in the South, are pumping up the numbers in winter.
Other reasons for what appears to be an anomaly are simple; since most sellers believe, erroneously as it turns out, that they will command higher prices by listing their homes in the warm weather months, when the plants and flowers are in bloom and the lawns are green and mown,
In a 2011 study, 80% of real estate agents responding to a survey by the website Realtor.com indicated that buyers during the holiday are "serious." All this might indicate that buyers in winter will pay appreciably higher prices for homes. But those who list their homes during the holidays and are willing to skedaddle for an hour at a time during showings are also serious. My wife and I found that out between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1986 when, on a lark, we wandered into a 200-year old home in Connecticut with a local real estate agent. We already lived in the area and were under no pressure to buy a home, but we fell in love with this one. The owners had already committed to building a new home in the same town and were more than willing to deal. Before the end of winter, we had moved in.