All markets experience periods of either greater supply or demand throughout a year and it’s these forces that move seasonal patterns. Traditionally speaking, the winter’s usually one of the slower times of the year for buyer and seller activity. On the other hand, spring holds the distinction of being the busiest season in real estate. 

However, with the continuously changing environment (hello, pandemic) and the way people are increasingly hopping onto online platforms and the digital space, the distinction between winter and spring selling is getting more and more blurred. 

Adil Dinani of Royal LePage West Real Estate Services even said that “last year, we saw one of the busiest winter markets in our history and with demand continuing to climb, this winter will be another very active market in British Columbia and across the country.” 

So, if you’re looking to sell your property and find yourself wondering whether you should sell now or wait for spring?

Winter or Spring?

Being so different, both seasons pose opportunities and challenges for buyers and sellers alike. Let’s take a look at the opportunities, challenges and what the pros are saying about both seasons.

Winter Opportunities

Less competition

There are fewer people out compared to other seasons. This means you won’t have to go up against as many sellers fighting for attention from a limited number of buyers. Also, since there are fewer homes on the market, buyers have a smaller range of options to choose from, increasing your chances of finding potential buyers.

More serious buyers

Isn’t it nice to just warm up by the fire and enjoy a warm cup of tea or coffee? People who go out of their way to step out into the cold temperatures to look at houses are more likely to be serious buyers

Show off the property’s capability to withstand the elements

Warm the property up to comfortable levels to help viewers feel the coziness of the space while attesting to how your house remains energy efficient throughout the winter will increase its appeal to home buyers. Having good quality smart thermostats, double-pane windows and newly replaced insulation wouldn’t hurt, either. It can even add to your property’s value.

Spring Opportunities

More buyers

The warmer weather draws out the crowds. This translates into more selling opportunities for you as buyers start their home hunting journey.

Good weather

Better overall conditions lend themselves to house selling. You won’t have to contend with harsh cold weather when staging your property. You can also show off the property’s curb appeal better because there’s more to show than just mountains of snow. It’s also easier to manage schedules and showings with weather cancellations being less likely to occur.

Bidding wars can earn you more

A lot of buyers means more offers with more chances of a bidding war which can potentially bring you stronger offers and earn you more from a sale. Competing buyers want to outdo each other and present their best offer to win the sale of the property.

Winter Challenges

Extra effort is required to stage the property, especially outdoors

Unlike spring, winter poses greater challenges for home staging. One, you have to contend with the weather. Second, there isn’t much curb appeal to show when the whole property’s covered up with layers of snow.

No bidding wars

With fewer buyers looking at houses, you’re unlikely to encounter any bidding wars. This is why pricing your property right is crucial.

The snow covers up areas you may want to show off

Although your house may come with a nice pool or garden, it’d be almost impossible to show these off when they’re covered up under the snow. Unless, of course, you’ve got an indoor pool or hot tub in your basement.

Spring Challenges

Agents are busy

Real estate agents can handle up to more than one client at a time, with overtime work being the norm especially when it gets really busy. With a lot on their plate, your listing might not receive the attention it deserves. Working with a top realtor can go a long way in ensuring your property sells for top dollar.  

Costs associated with moving are generally higher

With activity picking up in the market, the costs incurred tend to be higher than in the winter. More families on the move mean that the prices charged from home moving companies can be higher, as well as professional stagers. You may also have to schedule moving dates well in advance, as appointments can fill up quickly. 

You might get a lot of window shoppers

It comes as no surprise that with a lot of houses on the market, curiosity piques. You might find a few window shoppers viewing the property more for satisfying their curiosity rather than actually looking to buy. 

What the Pros Say 

In a recent survey conducted by Royal LePage among real estate professionals across Canada, the general consensus was to advise their clients to sell their homes over the winter rather than wait for spring. This result represents 79% of respondents across the country.

The majority of the respondents (82%) cited higher levels of demand that supply couldn’t match as the main reason for this recommendation. Marc Lefrancois, a real estate broker with the Lefrancois team at Royal LePage Tendance points out that “few people realize that January is one of the best times to list a property. The first properties to be listed after the holidays are highly sought-after and this year more than ever, the imbalance between supply and demand is favourable for sellers, as inventory shortages persist…”

So, Should You Wait for Spring?

After reading through the differences between winter and spring selling, you may already have an idea of when you’d want to list your house. The challenge of one season is the opportunity of the other. However, despite having their own pros and cons, the decision will ultimately depend on you as a seller.

If you’re more comfortable with the busy market that spring brings, by all means, sell in spring. But if the noise isn’t to your liking and you want more serious buyers to boot, then go for a winter listing. Pick a season that works for you, your family and of course, your schedule.

Picking your season is just half the battle. The more important piece of advice we’d like to leave you with is to sell when you’re ready. The season won’t matter if you aren’t ready. Conducting your due diligence before entering the market will have a much greater impact on the success of your listing than winter or spring can offer.

We’re Here to Help!

Jellyfish Real Estate’s a team of real estate professionals. Our goal’s to simplify your life, so you can spend less time worrying about real estate and more time enjoying life. 

If you’d like to learn more about real estate or if you have any questions or concerns about selling your property, buying your next home, opting to rent or rent-to-own, visit our website or contact us today.