Should you list your home during winter?

Posted by Sedonia Darling on Monday, February 17th, 2014 at 11:59am.

Pros And Cons Of Listing Your Bend Home During Winter

Winter in Bend is usually the slowest time of year for home sales, so many home owners won't consider listing their homes during the winter months.  It's common for sellers to actually pull their listings from the market in the late fall/early winter.  But listing your home during the winter has some benefits.  Below are some of the pros and cons of listing a home during the winter.
home for sale during winter in Bend Oregon

Pros Of Listing In Winter

  • The number one reason sellers should consider listing your home in winter is that there is less inventory on the market to compete with.  Currently in the Bend market there are 618 single family, stick built homes on the market.  In certain price ranges there isn't much on the market at all, especially in the $225,000 and under price range.  Buyers don't have as much to choose from, therefore they may not be as critical of your homes flaws.
  • Rising interest rates are making some buyers get off the fence earlier than expected.  With rates expected to rise in 2014 (still very low rates though), some buyers can't afford to wait.  They need to buy a home now.
  • Less "Lookie Loos".  The summer months will have more showings, but a lot of the buyers are just exploring.  Usually in the winter we see less lookie loos, and more serious buyers.  
  • The exterior landscape maintenance is easier to keep up.  Wile most yards won't look as good in the winter, they are easier to keep up.  You don't have to worry about cutting your grass, raking leaves, etc...  But you may have to shovel a bit of snow.
  • Despite what you may hear, properties do get showings and do sell in the winter months.  I listed 2 homes in January, and both received multiple offers within days of coming on the market.  
  • It's a great time to show off your homes fireplace, outdoor heaters, fire pits, etc.

Cons Of Listing In Winter

  • There probably aren't going to be as many showings as the summer months, but this January seemed to be an exception.  I found myself waiting in line to show homes several times. 
  • Weather can cause showings to be cancelled or delayed.
  • If there's snow on the ground, you'll need to keep paths, patios, and driveways shoveled.
  • Winter conditions can pose problems with buyers tracking snow, mud, water into your home.  Make sure to post a sign for all visitors to take off their shoes upon entry, or provide with boot covers.
  • Your home may not look as good in the winter months.  Most homes look better with green grass, lush landscaping, and sunshine.
  • Real estate prices can be stagnant in the winter in certain prices, but this winter prices have continued to increase.
  • You'll need to keep your heat on for showings, costing you more money.  Anytime there is a showing you'll want your heat to be set at a comfortable temperature.  I recommend 70-72 degrees during the winter for showings.  

To list or not to list in winter

In my opinion, January-February is usually the best time of the year to list a home for sale in Bend.  This year proved that serious buyers were out and about in January.  335 stick built, single family homes are currently Pending sale in Bend, while 58 have already sold this February (and I know there are plenty more scheduled to close in February as I have 5 deals myself scheduled to close by the end of the month). While we saw activity drop during the Christmas holiday season, activity surged after the first of the year. If you're thinking about selling a home in the Bend area, I'd consider putting it on the market right now rather than later this spring.  We'll see a jump in the number of listings hitting the market come March/April, which means more competition.  And currently, with inventory so low, many homes are selling for above asking price within days of hitting the market.

View all homes for sale in Bend.

Written by Sedonia Darling

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Berkshire Hathaway | The Darling Real Estate Group
404 SW Columbia St #110 | Bend, OR 97702
(541) 541-749-0509 

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