In winter escape states like Florida, Arizona, California, and Hawaii, it’s not surprising that home selling can be brisk during January. But a little cold weather or even a snowstorm isn’t enough to bring the housing market to a standstill in the rest of the country during January.
While in some markets, it’s common for real estate agents to take the month off for an extended vacation beyond the holidays, savvy agents know that January sales can be quick and lucrative.
In fact, January is a better month for home sales than October and November, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions. And if your sellers are worried about taking a hit on their price in January, even before the recent frenzied housing market that skewed data, 34% of homes sold during a more normal market (January 2018) closed at or above their list price, according to the National Association of Realtors.
7 reasons homes sell in January
If your sellers are wary of listing or you’re wondering whether you should actively market homes in January, these factors could provide encouragement:
- Buyers start every search online, so the weather isn't a factor in their initial house hunt.
- While winter’s chill impacts the northern part of the U.S., many housing markets have consistent or warmer weather in January that brings out buyers.
- Many sellers will wait until spring to list their homes, so your sellers are likely to get a jump on the competition.
- Buyers in January are often serious and motivated to make a faster purchase, and that’s why they are house-hunting even in cold weather states.
- Buyers have more time to focus on home buying once the holidays are behind them.
- Second-home buyers are likely to shop in January to get settled into their property and have their new place ready for the following spring break and summer vacation.
- In any season, there will always be buyers who must move to a new location for work or need to upsize or downsize to accommodate a new family configuration.
Strategies for selling a home in January
Whether you’re in a wintery market or a warmer one, the days are shorter in January, so it’s helps to emphasize natural light and amp up indoor and outdoor artificial lights.
Experienced agents also suggest lighting a fire if you can and add other cozy elements in cold climates. In warmer locations, make sure the year-round outdoor living options are showcased.
In any market, a Cinch home warranty can be an attractive add-on that protects your sellers while their home is on the market and provides peace of mind to buyers that can avoid big repair bills during their first year in their home.
In addition, a Cinch home warranty can be particularly appealing for a vacation home because it provides access to a vetted network of professional contractors, which can be hard to find in a less familiar location.