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Selling a House and Moving During the Winter: The Pros and Cons

Moving During the Winter

Many people have no choice but to sell their house and move during the winter. Sometimes, it’s just the timing of the closing on a new home. Other times, a new job might require changing locations. Whatever the case, people may not get the chance to wait until the more usual selling times in the spring.

That said, selling a home and moving during the winter has its advantages. The following looks at some of the pros and cons of selling a home and moving during the winter.

The Pros of Moving During the Winter

These are some of the advantages when you sell your house during the winter, all with the assumption that you hire professional movers to handle your move.

Less Competition

Fewer homes get listed during the winter months, so it’s easier to get attention from buyers. Also, buyers during the winter months have fewer options, which increases the chances you will get good offers on your home.

Motivated Buyers

People looking to buy a home during the winter months are usually not just shopping around. They might be in the same shoes you are – having to relocate for whatever reason during the cold months of the year. That means when you get those offers because of the lack of competition, there’s a better chance it will be a serious one closer to your asking price.

Real Estate Agents Are Motivated, Too

With less inventory to sell and fewer buyers on the market, you are likely to get a great deal of attention from your agent. They’ll have more time to focus on marketing your home. They also know that buyers are motivated and that the chances of a sale are good.

Movers Are Less Busy

Once you complete the sale and get ready to move, your chances of getting a mover when you need one are increased. Just make sure to vet you movers and find one that offers all the professional services you need. You do not want to handle your move during the cold months.

The Cons of Moving During the Winter

While the above pros of moving in the winter are substantial, there’s no getting around the fact that there are downsides. They include the following:

Less Curb Appeal

Houses don’t look as good in the winter as they do in the spring and summer. There’s no getting around the bare tree branches, dead grass and lack of plants outside. That said, everyone knows this, and your agent can get around the issue by posting photos of what the home looks like in spring.

Less Chance of Buyer vs. Buyer

This was a pro, too, right? Yes. The few buyers out there mean that most of them are motivated. However, it also means there’s far less chance of them getting into a bidding war over your house. A bidding war is a beautiful thing for sellers, but it’s less likely to happen between December and March.

Weather Could Alter Move

Professional movers can do the job in almost any kind of weather. However, the winter months do present more days where inclement weather – snow, freezing rain and ice on the roads – could mean a move is delayed. It’s best to have a backup date in case things go wrong on the first choice.

The Kids Are In School

If you are moving far, it’s tough on the kids, who will have to switch to another school. It’s easier if you are staying in the area and the kids can stay at the same schools, although it will still be a disruption to their routine to change homes.

While the cons are significant, the right frame of mind and a little luck can make moving during the winter the right choice. You’ll also have the experience of already being in your home and enjoying spring as it arrives, rather than having to start planning a move when everyone else is doing it. That alone makes moving during the winter worth considering.


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