6 Things You Need to Know About Selling a Home in Winter

On the Emerald Coast, we tend to think of the big real estate season as the spring and summer. It’s a time when we get a lot of tourists who fall in love with our beaches and want to own a little corner of our world. Sales go up and more homes are listed during this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home during the winter, too. 

Snowbirds Flock to Our Area

While the more southern parts of Florida may see higher numbers of snowbirds from the north, we have plenty too. Many snowbirds buy a second home once they realize they want to come back year after year. Their numbers are fewer than the tourists in the summer season but they’re definitely not buyers to ignore. If your home needs little or no extra work and is in a great neighborhood or close to what they want, you’ll get their attention.

Competition is Lower

Yes, there are fewer buyers out and about in winter, but that also means fewer new listings. When someone buys in a cold month it’s usually because they have to move and quickly. Price your home right for the area, and you’ll get their attention. Since few sellers think they should list at this time of year, new listings stand out against all the older inventory still on the market.

Make Your Home Look Inviting from the Outside

Curb appeal is important all year long, but when the weather is gray and dreary, it’s hard to see your beautiful landscape. Compensate for that by making sure your home is warm, light, and welcoming. What you want is for a potential buyer to walk in from the cold and immediately feel at home. They need to see themselves living in the space. Making them forget the cold weather goes a long way in that effort.

Your Home Needs to Be Move-In Ready

For the majority of buyers, when they buy in December or January, it might be a few months before they can make big repairs – a new roof, new windows – and they don’t want to install a new HVAC on a cold day. And that doesn’t include painting walls, replacing flooring, and other projects. The more move-in ready your property is, the more appealing it will be for a buyer who wants to wait until spring for home projects.

Don’t Let Holiday Decorations Distract Buyers

You can still decorate for the holidays if your home is on the market in December, but you have to be more strategic. Instead of the giant Snoopy in the yard that makes it difficult to see the front door, be more subtle. Make sure your decorations fit in with your home decor. And remember, if you sell before Christmas, all of that stuff has to come down in the move. Make sure you really want to go to that trouble.

Price Your Home Right the First Time

It’s never great if you need to drop the price of your home after a few weeks on the market. Many buyers will wonder what’s wrong with the listing and why it hasn’t sold. Or they may have a Realtor telling them it’s overpriced and to look elsewhere. With less competition and buyers who don’t have time to waste, pricing your home right the first time helps you get more eyes on it (and offers) as soon as possible. 

Selling your home doesn’t have to wait for the perfect time – only the right price and the right buyer. If you need to move up or down or you’re leaving the area, you can successfully list and sell your home in the winter. Get your home ready, price it right, and keep your expectations realistic, and you may be in a new home of your own before the new year.


  1. That point about how many people who buy a home in December or January don’t move in for a few months. That’s good to know since I want my house sold around that time. It’ll give me enough time to find a new place to live and fix up my current house.

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