GLAR president: Homebuyers more eager in the winter months

Louisville hasn't had snow yet this winter, but snow or no, winter may be the optimal time for homeowners to sell. | Creative Commons

Louisville hasn’t had snow yet this winter, but snow or no, winter may be the optimal time for homeowners to sell. | Creative Commons

In the winter, Louisville’s housing market is less competitive, and buyers tend to be more “aggressive and determined,” according to Greg Taylor, president of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors.

Although winter is commonly viewed as a dead period for residential real estate, those two facts are compelling reasons to place a home on the market any time from mid-December to March rather than wait until spring.

“Typically, homes that are going on the market (in the winter) are selling quickly,” Taylor said.

While there were 5,800 active listings and 2,250 pending listing on GLAR’s website two months ago, there were only 4,858 active and 1,982 pending listings as of Tuesday afternoon, he said. That is roughly 1,500 fewer homes to compete against.

“Every market is struggling for listings,” Taylor said.

Home appraisals are usually higher in the winter as well, Taylor said, because they take into account home sales that happened six months prior during the summer — peak home sales season. Homeowners can list and obtain a higher price for their property during the winter than they might during other parts of the year.

Louisville isn’t an outlier in this way. A 2013 national analysis by residential real estate company Redfin found that homes placed on the market in the winter (Dec. 21 to March 21) sold a week faster and for 1.2 percentage points more.

Taylor said he sold a home for more than the asking price Monday after only three days on the market. Though, he noted that other factors such as neighborhood and condition of the home still play a key role no matter what time of year it is.

“If the product is worth it, then the buyers are willing to pay it,” he said.

For those looking to sell this winter, Taylor offered a few tips: Make your home feel cozy and warm. Keep the paint colors neutral. Keep your home tidy. Double-check that there are no problems with the roof, HVAC or other big investment items. Maintain some curb appeal by planting cold weather plants like holly. And keep the holiday decor tasteful.

“Don’t put 100 blow-up ornaments in the front yard,” he said.

Caitlin Bowling – Insider Louisville 12/23/2015

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