Real Estate in the Winter

Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring

Many people think the idea of buying or selling real estate during Winter is a crazy idea.  This is especially true if you live in a Colorado mountain town like myself.  I have had this conversation several times recently with clients and so I thought it would be helpful to share some insight to what the actual experience looks like to buy or sell during the Winter months.

If you are considering selling during the Winter, here are a couple tips to keep in mind:

  1. Inventory is generally lower.  As we study history of the market it is almost always going to show that inventory levels are the lowest during the Winter months.  This is good for sellers because they will likely attract more buyers and be able to market their property at top dollar.
  2. Buyers who are shopping in the Winter are serious.  Unlike other times of the year where a casual Saturday might consist of popping into some Open Houses around town just because, that is not the case in Winter.  Folks who are out in the conditions looking at property are serious about buying and want to find their property to purchase today.

If you are considering buying during the Winter, here are a couple tips to keep in mind:

  1. Interest rates are on the rise.  You have probably seen over the last 30 days that The Fed has raised the prime rate for mortgage loans and many analysts are predicting this to happen 2-3 more times in 2017.  With this being said the buyers purchasing power is going to start to decrease based on what they can afford with increasing rates.  Basically if you are considering purchasing, it might be better to get it done with now before another increase in rates.
  2. Snow covers up landscaping.  This seems like a dumb thing to mention but imagine buying a property with a huge back yard that you are very excited for in January but come April when the snow disappears you have nothing more than a hard packed dirt area that you thought was going to be lush green grass.  Ask your realtor or seller if there is a way to see some photos of the property from the Summer time to be certain.
  3. Have a plan to transport your belongings after you close.  Again this seems like common sense but make sure to line up an enclosed truck or trailer to protect your belongings on moving day.

I hope you find this article helpful and if you are considering buying or selling during the Winter you are now more confident about that decision.  Whether you are considering buying or selling, please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss your goals and we will personalize a strategy that fits your situation and get to work to accomplish those goals.

Have a Happy 2017!


Seasonality of Real Estate

Posted on September 25, 2018 by shawn_manwaring

I was recently talking to some friends who run a business in the ski industry about how the below average snowfall this Winter has impacted their business and I suddenly had an epiphany; All businesses have seasonal challenges to overcome.

When studying historic real estate market trends here in Western Colorado, the common pattern we see in the real estate market is that activity tends to heat up in the Spring and Summer and cool down as we head into Winter. So, what does this mean for a potential buyer or seller?

For buyers, there are several factors to consider when shopping for a home and seasonality plays a role in this believe it or not! As a buyer it’s easy to get tunnel vision on the house you want, the neighborhood you want or just finding the best deal out there. I challenge my clients to take off the blinders and ask yourself questions like this; I wonder if anyone else is considering this home? Will more homes like this one become available in the next 3-6 months? Will the price change once we get to warmer weather?

When you’re in the process of looking for and buying a home it’s important to be aware of external factors that play a part in pricing and our current market absorption rate, this includes our season. I recognize that sometimes issues such as timing are outside of your control and you must make a speedy decision on which home to purchase.  However, in many cases this is a decision that you have been working towards and when time is on your side, I would strongly encourage you to work with an experienced professional that can help you leverage this seasonality effect of pricing.

Historically our region has seen more properties available for sale in the Spring and Summer months than any other time of year.  Although it seems like an oxymoron, prices tend to go up in these months too. While it is true that you will have more options available to choose from, you are also most likely to pay top dollar for your property. When shopping in the Winter months, you may have less inventory but you also have less competition with other buyers and generally, deal with more motivated sellers.

As a seller, seasonality also plays a key component to successfully selling your home and it all begins with marketing your property. Most properties are more aesthetically appealing in the Spring/Summer months and therefore get more views online when advertised. The prospect of moving in the Winter also tends to keep many sellers to wait until Spring to list their property. Just know that if you begin marketing your property for sale during Winter, that there tend to be less competition and the buyers that are shopping, tend to be more serious. Above all else, it is important to price your home competitively in our market in order to get the highest offer in the shortest amount of time and successfully close the transaction. For that there is no comparison to having an experienced professional advocating for you.

While there may not be a perfect time to buy or sell, if you’re observant to our season you may just find yourself with a competitive advantage in the Roaring Fork real estate marketplace.

Shawn Manwaring is a Broker Associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby's International Realty in Glenwood Springs.  Shawn services Western Garfield County and the lower Roaring Fork Valley. He can be reached at 970-389-6069, or

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