Midwest Winters: Are People Still Buying and Selling Homes?

So you are thinking about moving but it’s snowing like crazy and the temperature tomorrow is supposed to drop to a high of -12° tomorrow. Bad idea, right? Not really! While spring is still the hottest home-buying season, serious home buyers are always on the lookout and people have to sell for a whole variety of reasons year-round. Yes, there are fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers to compete with. And at the end of the day, anyone willing to buy or sell real estate in January in the upper Midwest is probably pretty motivated. Let’s take a look at what you can expect if you are thinking about buying or selling this (or any) winter in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Overall, winter is a slower time in real estate altogether. It’s not just due to the cold (but that is part of it!) as I discuss further down this post. But first, take a look at the number of homes on the market in the last 10 years in the Twin Cities metro area. Overall, inventory continues to decline lower and lower each year. However, you can see the levels rise and fall with the seasons relatively consistently.

Why BUY in the winter?

Homes in the winter sell for less $ for a variety of reasons It’s simple: Better pricing and less competition!

  • You won’t have to deal with as many competing buyers which means you will likely get your home for a better price (less likelihood of a bidding war).
  • Winter sellers are serious sellers and with strong motivation they may be more flexible on asking price and terms.
  • The home isn’t going to show as well in winter…it’s dark and gloomy out and with all the landscaping buried some of the home’s best features and curb appeal will be hidden. A home with an amazing garden or pool for example will sell for less than in the spring and summer when it’s on full display!
  • You have an opportunity to see how your potential new home holds up in the winter. Is the heat on but the home is freezing inside? Is the driveway an ice skating ramp due to the melting snow from the roof refreezing once it runs down the driveway?
  • Potential tax benefits to purchase before the tax year is over! Check with your accountant!

Why SELL in the winter?

Selling in the winter doesn’t just have it’s advantages for buyers!

  • Less competition. Once spring hits, your home will be one of many on the market.
  • Only serious buyers leave their warm homes to go look at properties for sale in 20 below. You will avoid the less serious, looky loos.

Don’t let snow stop you. If you need to buy or sell, remember, this is the Upper Midwest. Homes are bought and sold every day by the truckload and there’s always advantages and disadvantages to every season.

I’m here for you when you need me! As always, have a great week!

Ann M Huddock with Fathom Realty

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