5 Reasons to List Your Home in the Off-Season
Augustana Care is pleased to introduce guest blogger Lisa Dunn, Realtor with Re/Max Results Change AGEnts. Lisa’s specialty is helping older adults downsize. Many of her clients are leaving a home that often come with 30+ years of memories and moving into senior housing. Lisa understands the emotional stress this type of transition has on older adults and helps bring a calmness to an often-chaotic process for the individual and their family members.
When meeting with clients, I am often asked “When is the best time to sell my home?” and typically, my response is “When it works best for you.” When working with a client, I feel it’s important to strategize how best to sell the home while still meeting their goals. There seems to be a common misconception that selling a home during the Minnesota winter months is bad. That simply is not true. Here are 5 reasons it’s a good idea to list your home in the off-season:
1. Buyers are Serious
Buyers that are out looking for homes during off-peak times in Minnesota are serious. They are likely moving because they have to (who would move when it is 5◦ below zero if they didn’t have to?!), so you won’t get a lot of tire kickers this time of year. When you, the seller, are negotiating with a buyer who may not have a lot of choice of homes on the market and is at a point where they have to move, it puts you in a very strong negotiating position.
2. Less Competition
Ask anyone when is the best time to sell their home, and you’ll likely hear them say it’s during the spring or summer. This widely held misconception means everyone who is thinking about moving this year will put their home on the market in the spring or summer. During the off-season of November thru February there are generally fewer homes on the market in Minnesota. Fewer homes on the market means there is less competition for the buyer’s attention. Your home will receive more attention from the serious buyers actively looking for a home.
3. Fewer Appraisal Issues
Appraisals are a very important part of the equation when selling your home. The appraised value of a home determines the highest mortgage a bank will offer to the buyer for your home. When an appraiser completes an appraisal, similar homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the last 6 months are used as comparisons. If your home sells in January, the price for your home is being compared to those homes that sold during the peak summer months. Price your home strategically, to avoid having an appraiser tell you the price you set is more than what a bank is willing to loan.
4. Everything is Just a Little Easier
There are a lot of people involved in a real estate transaction. It is imperative that everyone involved pay attention to every last detail to ensure a smooth closing. During the summer months real estate agents, inspectors, title companies, appraisers, mortgage lenders and movers are all swamped. It seems from April to September trying to get the attention of a professional during the last week of the month is impossible, which can lead to closing delays. Selling a home during the off-peak times in Minnesota means it is less likely you’ll encounter delays related to the sale of your home or the logistics of your move.
5. Tight Senior Housing Market
It feels like new senior housing buildings are popping up in every neighborhood, but don’t mistake that for ample consumer choices. In fact, the best units always lease first. Instead of trying to time the real estate market, plan your move around when your new unit will be ready in the senior housing community you are interested in. Don’t miss an opportunity to grab the unit most appealing to you. In fact, if you’re willing to make a move to senior housing in the winter, you’ll likely get the best opportunities at the units that are in demand because others mistakenly wait to put their home on the market in the spring!
To recap, here are some key points to remember:
- Your goals should drive when you move and list your home for sale. The season of the Minnesota real estate market should not be the determining factor of the timing of your move.
- Organize the timing of your move when your unit in the senior housing community is ready. Don’t let the unit you want get away from you!
- A good real estate agent will prioritize your goals and strategize with you to reduce the stress of the sale of your home no matter what time of year it is.
Augustana Care is a non-profit organization that provides senior housing, health care and community-based services to older generations and others in need. Augustana Care helps residents live the lives that most inspire them. Stop by for a visit and learn how the Augustana Care staff can help you choose community and care options that best fit your needs as your journey continues.
Lisa Dunn and The Change AGEnts group offers a complimentary consultation to answer your questions about how to manage the logistics of your move, how to price your home, strategies to prepare your home for the market, and downsizing tips to make the process as easy as possible. Other articles are available at www.TheSeniorHousingSearch.com.