That’s something we tend to hear all too often in the fall/winter months in Minnesota. There’s lots of reasoning that goes along with it, such as “the market will be better in the spring”, or “I can get more for my house in the spring”, “there are more buyers in the spring”, “that’s the peak season for selling”, “I don’t want to bother with it during the holidays”, or “I’m going to Florida/Arizona/California (you pick) in the winter”. The list can go on and on. Surprisingly to most people, those reasons are no longer valid for taking a house off the market for the winter.
The truth is, houses are still bought and sold in the winter. Since there is less inventory to choose from and therefore less competition, sellers can often demand higher prices. Buyers are no longer waiting for nice, sunny days to view homes. They can drive by a home in the dead of winter, look it up on their cell phone, and see pictures of the home interior while they’re sitting in their car. If they like what they see, they’ll contact their agent and request a showing. Same with searching for homes in general. They don’t need an agent to drive them around neighborhoods like they did in the pre-internet days. Now they can sit at home and look at houses to their heart’s content on their computer, even with a raging blizzard outside.
If you’re leaving the area for the winter there’s no reason you still can’t have your home on the market. It actually makes it easier to show your home since you would no longer have to arrange to be gone for a showing. If a buyer wants to write an offer while you’re away, documents can easily be signed electronically. Electronic signatures are every bit as binding as an original signature on a document.
As for the holidays, it’s understandable that you may not want to deal with showings during that time. That’s easily accommodated by showing your home as “TNAS” in the multiple listing service (MLS). “TNAS” means ‘temporarily not available to show’. Agents see that and know that they cannot schedule a showing during that time.
So if you truly do want to sell your home, consider putting it on the market now. If you wait until spring you never know what might happen with interest rates or other factors that can affect the market. There has never been a better time than now to sell your home.
So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and yes, you can sell your home in the winter in Minnesota!