Why List Your Lakefront Home in Winter

The weather outside is frightful, so no one’s buying a home this time of the year, right? Think again. In the last 60 days, 35 lakefront homes went under contract in the region, including 33% of our available inventory. The market is trying to stay warm just like the rest of us, but lakefront homes are in short supply.

While winter may seem like a more challenging time to sell, the same rules don’t always apply for homes in a vacation destination. There are plenty of reasons to buy in winter, but here are some of the pros to selling your lakefront home in the off-season:

Higher priced homes see more action.

According to our listing agent, Cynthia Emerling, homes priced above $500,000 are seeing more interest. “The higher priced market starts to pick up in November, when people start evaluating their finances from the year and are motivated to take advantage of tax breaks.” Listing ahead of or during this surge of high-end buyer activity that your home sits on the market less time. “I tell high-end listings to hold out for this time of year, regardless of when they listed. This is when their buyer is in the market,” says Emerling.

Your home stays ready-to-show.

Selling in the summertime has its drawbacks. While it may be the time of year when your lakefront and landscaping look their best, it’s also the time when your lake house sees the most use. With family, friends, and guests in and out all summer, it can be difficult to ensure your home is ready-to-show when it needs to be. To maintain a staged, clean appearance, list your lakefront home in winter. As an added bonus, a light blanket of snow will cover any less-desirable features outside the home.

You’ll get the most out of your last summer on the lake.

There’s only a short window of summer weather here in the Finger Lakes. Showings can make it more difficult to schedule and enjoy your time at the lake. If your home is a vacation rental, constant showings can interfere with the guest experience. Guests who book in the peak season pay a premium for their stay and would prefer not to be interrupted by your agent.

Investment buyers have extra motivation.

On the vacation rental side, we see higher volumes of booking activity around the holidays. It makes sense – the whole family is gathered in one area, making it easy to plan their next vacation. Investment buyers don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to fill their calendars ahead of the new year. This is a huge motivator for short-term rental owners to buy ahead of the new year.


Even if you decide to hold off on listing until after the holidays, don’t wait too long. We see the spring market ramp up long before winter’s end. Lakefront buyers want to close have plenty of time to get their new home ready for summer.

Ready to list your lakefront home this winter? Start here!

Our real estate team will provide an assessment of your lakefront home and a rental analysis, free of charge, to attract buyers to the income potential of your listing. Call our lakefront listing experts today (888) 976-4981

Best time to sell a lakefront home?

 

Winter, statistics say.

Everybody knows that winter is the dead zone for real estate, right? At least that’s the commonly held belief. However, national statistical studies propose that’s not the case.

According to Redfin, real estate database and brokerage company, which closely examines home listings, time-on-market and sale price data from 2010 to the current market, winter can be a surprisingly profitable time to list, shop, negotiate and buy.

The studies established that if owners want to sell for more than the asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance, on average, than if you list any time from June through November – the so-called ‘peak selling season.’

Not convinced? Just take a peek at the data gathered by Redfin during the first few years of the study (view the full article by Redfin here)

 

Season Likelihood of Selling within 6 Months Average Sale-to-List Price Ratio Average Days on Market
Winter
(Dec. 21 – March 21)
65% -2.3% 26
Average of Non-Winter Seasons 56% -3.5% 33
Spring
(March 22 – June 21)
56% -3.5% 32
Summer
(June 22 – Sept. 20)
55% -3.6% 32
Fall
(Sept. 21 – Dec. 20)
57% -3.5% 34

 

Graphic Provided by Christin Camacho at Redfin

The years of data collected by Redfin directly opposes the widespread sentiment that selling a house during the winter months is more challenging. In fact, the opposite trend can be seen with a near 10% greater likelihood of a quick sell, 1.2% greater Sale-to-List Ratio, and less days averaged on the market.

Now, some New Yorkers might reject this data, citing the harsh seasonal climate as a deterrent for buyers. However, the benefit of selling a home in winter holds just as true for those with unforgiving winters (cough cough, the Finger Lakes of NY State). In each of the 19 markets analyzed in Redfin’s report, including Boston, Chicago and New York, home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season.

Look, you have to consider the market. Since personal sentiments shape individuals perceptions, some sellers pull their unsold houses off the market during the winter, hoping for better results in the spring. By doing so, they leave a smaller inventory of active listings — diminishing the competition amongst sellers who list in January and February.

When it comes down to brass tax, real estate does not hibernate from December to April. An upwards of 5 million homes are resold annually in the U.S., and many of them are listed and sold during the winter months with ease due to the perception of a poor winter market… in turn, this perception and trendiness of listing during the green season has decreased the amount of listings and competition to the point where the winter market has proven statistical superiority in all three major areas of real estate: Selling within six months, Sale-to-List Price Ratio, and average days spent on the market.

Hmm… looks like winter is warmer for real estate than you might think.

Logically, as the next step, we would recommend listing with us at Finger Lakes Premier Properties (FLPP); our specialty of lakeside real estate is unmatched in the Finger Lakes. In fact, one of FLPP’s central focus areas this past year was to reduce the amount of days listings spent on market. FLPP achieved this goal, slashing the Average Days Spent on Market by 30% from 2016-2017.

If you are interested in more information on listing or buying a lakefront home, please contact us at 844-832-1294, or email us at sales@FLPPlake.com.