I thought it would be a great time to explore this question and some things to consider.
Sell Now or Wait for Spring?
A new fix and flip student asked this about selling in the “off season” for the housing market:
“The way the timing worked out on my project (3 bed 2 bath 1350 sq. feet house in a nice working class neighborhood) it will be ready to be listed this week. Not the best time of the year to list a property, correct? Should I wait until spring (the holding costs are about $1000 a month). What would you do?”
Buying Seasons vary based on location and overall market demand
Here are some things to consider and keep in mind when you are planning on selling your home during the winter months.
How much inventory is available in your local market?
I would suggest you ask your agent or broker to run a report and see how many homes are currently on the market. How does this year’s inventory compare to this same time last year? Sometimes it can be an advantage being the only girl at the dance.
Are people in your area engaged in looking for a home?
This is another area your agent or broker can help you with, as they should have data. For example, how many hits are they getting on their websites? They also have a network of agents they work with and, trust me; the number one question is always, “Are you busy?”
Showing the property: Will weather keep people away from seeing the property?
Weather! Funny, we had to deal with this issue last weekend. Here in SoCal we had a huge storm (OK if you are from the East Coast or Midwest, it was big for us), We had already scheduled an open house and full-page ad. So what were some of the things we did to make the place appealing for those who braved to go out?
- Used potted plants that gave it color
- The walkway was clear (if you are in an area where it snows or it could be icy, make sure it’s cleared and safe).
- Put out a front mat for people to wipe off their shoes.
Inside cozy feel:
- The house was warm and heated; the fireplace was going all day.
- ALL the lights were on and drapes were open. The house should be bright and appealing.
The holding costs: Did you plan for enough margin?
If you are doing a fix and flip, one of the biggest considerations is the amount of time it will take to flip the property. As a professional investor, you should already have holding costs figured into the profit. What if you have to hold the property longer? What does that do to your profit? My suggestion would be that if you are flipping a property in the winter, you should estimate your holding cost for a little longer. Also, your utility costs might also be higher since you are going to need to keep the property heated at all times.
Don’t hesitate to sell your property in the off months, just be proactive.
Diana D. Hill – firstname.lastname@example.org