At this time of year many people ask me, “Is it a good idea to try to sell my home over the winter?” Now, this year is very different. However, my answer is still very much as I might have said in years past.
Over the winter months there are fewer buyers looking to buy but they tend to be more serious. In our market, as things stand this year, it is very much a seller’s market. Homes, especially those under $1.3 million, are selling in days, not weeks or months. Buyers are competing with others that may have lost deals, even when offering over the asking price. This is very frustrating, to find a great home, only to have someone else scoop it up right before your eyes. So, if you are a buyer, looking in the winter months may help you get the home you want, without as much competition. So this fall, winter, and early 2021, will probably be the last chance to get a lower price on any real estate that you might be looking for. As spring arrives prices will increase along with the competition. The fact is that there are not enough homes to satisfy the demand that has been created since the onset of COVID.
You see, COVID has highlighted “The Home” as a much more important part of life. As I had said at the very beginning of the COVID crisis, “After people are stuck in their home for weeks on end, if they already don’t love their home, they will hate it.” The market boomed 2 months after the start of COVID-19. People want larger homes, larger lots, and more features. With that said, 2020 in Northern Virginia’s single-family home market has been its best market ever. This market has also played into the demographics of the homeowners. The last boom in the housing market was driven when the Baby Boomers hit their prime home-buying years, there were 80 million of them. Now the Millennials are at their prime home-buying age and there are 90 million Millennials. Along with the Baby Boomers, who are now downsizing, this makes for the long road of demand for new housing.
The market is at a point where there is so much demand and there just has not been enough home building to supply all that demand.
So if you think it is time to sell, this fall has a lot of concerns and considerations that you need to look for, especially this year with the election. This is the suburb of Washington DC and that means many buyers are going to hold off until after the election. But that is coming soon. Now the other thing you need to think about is that we are living in a world with COVID, and to sell your home now, you need to have your home available to show to strangers. This can be worked out, most Real Estate Agents know how to protect you and your home, but it is a concern. Then you need to think about people looking at your home in rainy or even snowy weather conditions. That winter weather can get brought into your home. Now most people are very courteous when going to look at homes, but things happen.
Another thing to think about is how are you going to deal with the holidays? This is a very international city, with people of all faiths and cultures. So your holiday and theirs may not be the same. You will need to understand when buyers want to look at your home and all you want to do is enjoy family holiday time.
Here is my advice on this matter. If you need to sell quickly or your home is vacant, then you put your home on the market. If your timeline is no big deal, then we may need to talk about your plans, and maybe it is better for you to hold off until spring.
I can say that there is no inventory on the market now and selling when you don’t have competition is always a great time to sell and if you don’t get your price then you still have the spring market to fall back on. We don’t have any guarantee that prices will improve, although I do believe that will happen. However, since it is all over the news that the housing market is good, you could get a lot of homeowners putting their homes on the market at the same time. If this happens and a lot of of inventory of homes come on at your price range, then you may not have pricing power. A good example of that was June, July, and August of this year where prices where nuts and now the prices have come back to normal. I cannot stress more that everyone’s circumstances are different and if you want to go over yours, I am always open to talk or call your real estate agent and get their opinion. Whether you sell this fall, winter, or wait for the spring, the market is very good right now.
You should have great success,
So good luck!
Casey Margenau of Casey Margenau Fine Homes is one of the top real estate agents in the Northern Virginia. With over 30 years of experience, 3,000 homes sold and $3 billion in sales, Casey has surpassing expertise in the market. His hand-picked team provides concierge realty services and a seamless, stress-free process for the best possible experience selling or buying a home.