Braving a winter home sale could bode in your favor

Special to The Log

Winter is known for many things, the least of which may be that it is the best season to sell a home. The standard thinking is as the weather cools, so do the home sales. In theory, this makes sense. Who really wants to move in the middle of winter? The kids are in school, the roads are slick and the holidays are right around the corner.

However, just because it does not sound like the most convenient time to for a buyer to move, does not mean that it is not the best time for a seller to list. In fact, recent studies indicate that homes listed between December and March sell faster than homes listed in any other month, and for more money.

Why? The answer is simple: Winter weeds out the buyers who have hibernated and leaves the market full of serious shoppers, willing to brave the cold to find their next home, condo or investment property in Florida.

Yes, we said Florida. Interestingly enough, the theory that winter is the best time to sell a home holds true specifically for our area. And according to®, this winter “may be the best that ever happened to Florida [real estate].”

The article states that Florida is ranked No. 2 behind California in jumbo volume for both primary and secondary homes at Quicken Loans, one of the country’s largest jumbo lenders. Quicken’s Vice President, Bill Banifeld seems to believe that colder weather leaves people thinking about places they would rather be, and “that [puts] Florida at the top of the list.”® further divides these cold weather shoppers into three distinct groups – retirees moving south, out-of-state residents shopping for a vacation home and small business owners looking to take advantage of Florida’s business-friendly environment. But whether the reason is job related or familial focused, one thing remains the same: Buyers are headed south this winter.

Some of these buyers have already arrived. Florida Realtor®, the state’s largest trade association for residential real estate professionals, released reports that indicate significant growth in year-over-year sales. In June alone, single-family homes sales were up 19.6 percent and condo sales were up 14.6 percent compared to last year.

The moral of the story: If you have been thinking about selling, the window for winter 2015 is wide open.

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