Navigation

12 Pros & Cons of Buying a Home in the Winter

12 Pros & Cons of Buying a Home in the Winter

If you ask most real estate agents about the best time to sell your house, you'll likely hear "in the spring and summer months.” In Colorado Springs, our real estate market nearly doubles in sales from winter to summer. There is a big difference in sales volume between these different times of the year.

For most cities, the summer months tend to have many more homes sold than in winter. This fact causes some people to think that the summer is the best time to buy or sell, but it's more complicated than that. For example, a townhome downtown might not have a problem selling in the winter, while a 5-acre horse property may have little chance of selling. It depends on the unique circumstances of each deal.

This article is not meant to persuade you to buy a home in the winter, or that it’s a great time to buy. Instead, it’s designed to reveal the pros and cons equally so that you can evaluate your situation and determine what works best for you. As we go through all the pros and cons of buying a home in the winter, be sure to stay objective and genuinely understand the costs/benefits of this topic.

This information will also change depending on the area. If you live in an area that receives heavy snow during the winter months, you'll notice a big difference in sales volume during the Winter. Conversely, states like Florida that receive no snow during the winter months may see a spike in home sales. In Colorado Springs, our market sells half as many homes at the peak of Winter.


Pros of Buying a Home in the Winter

Seller MotivationPRO #1: SELLERS ARE MOTIVATED TO SELL

Most Realtors recommend waiting until the spring to sell your home. It's likely that the seller of the home you're interested in really needs to sell now if they’re listing in the middle of Winter.

This extra pressure on the seller can make negotiations easier when buying a house in the Winter. It doesn't necessarily mean you can come in and lowball everything, but you have more leverage when the seller does not have multiple offers.


Less CompetitionPRO #2: LOWER COMPETITION

Since fewer buyers are looking at homes in the winter, it’s less likely that you will have to compete in the same way you would in the Summer months. The pressure to view a home on the exact day it hits the market is much less intense.

Lower competition may mean that you can take your time and not be rushed to make an offer right away.


More Attention from RealtorPRO #3: MORE ATTENTION FROM YOUR REALTOR®

Fewer buyers in the Winter typically means slower times for real estate professionals. During the peak of Summer, real estate agents get slammed with showing requests from house hunting. If you are working with a Realtor who is overbooked in mid-summer, it can be hard to receive the best service.

The winter months are much easier for real estate professionals, so you're likely to get more attention and one-on-one advising.


Lower Median Sales PricePRO #4: MEDIAN SALES PRICE IS LOWER

In January of 2021, our median sales price was $385,000. By June of 2021, it had risen to $450,000. That's a 16.9% price increase in just six months.

By October (last month), it had already started dropping back down to $446,000 and will likely continue dropping until February. This pattern is predictable.

With more competition comes higher prices. Bidding wars and multiple contracts are prevalent at the height of the market in the Summer. You will likely pay a little less for a home in the winter if the competition is less prevalent.


Easy to Find ContractorsPRO #5: EASY TO FIND CONTRACTORS

Many people who buy older homes plan to do some remodeling. If you need to remodel before you move in, you will have to engage an aggressive contractor. Unfortunately, contractors can be very hard to find in the summer months, especially in Colorado Springs.

If you're planning to buy a home and remodel it, you'll probably have an easier time doing it in the winter months when contractors’ workload is slower. You may even get a better price on your remodeling in the winter.


Less Crazy Market ConditionsPRO #6: LESS CRAZY MARKET CONDITIONS

With the number of homes for sale doubling from winter to summer, the real estate market can become crazy. Buyers may decide to write contract-waiving inspection contingencies and appraisal clauses that they would never do without the added pressure.

When the market moves fast, buyers have to move faster. They may have to forgo the luxury of a home inspection. The whole process feels out of control and chaotic when it moves too fast. This scenario is the number one reason some buyers decide to wait until the winter to buy a home.


The Cons of Buying A Home in the Winter

Impossible to Inspect Certain ItemsCON #1: IMPOSSIBLE TO INSPECT CERTAIN ITEMS

For me, the number one con of buying a home in the winter is that it's tough to inspect the exterior of the home. If there has been a snowstorm, it's nearly impossible to determine the roof’s condition with the snow on it.

Roof repairs are the number one item that inspectors find in Colorado Springs because we have significant hail damage from hail storms. It's also impossible to check the air conditioning unit because inspectors can't run and test the outside units in cold weather.


Fewer Homes on the MarketCON #2: FEWER HOMES ON THE MARKET

There are half as many homes on the market in the winter as in summer. Your chances of finding that unique custom home are less likely in the winter.

If you have precise search criteria that are hard to fulfill, you're twice as likely to find that unique property when the listing inventory doubles in the summer months.


Hard To MoveCON #3: HARD TO MOVE

Let's face it, moving in the winter sucks! It’s challenging during a snowstorm or cold windy weather.

Having movers bring boxes in and out of your house while it's freezing outside is very difficult. Snow will end up getting into everything and then melting inside the house.

The hassle of dealing with snow and moving is enough for some to wait until spring, especially in snowy areas.


Hard To Evaluate LandscapingCON #4: HARD TO EVALUATE LANDSCAPING

I bought my last house in November, and all of the landscaping was barren for the winter months. I was pleasantly surprised when spring came around, and all of the beautiful landscaping came to life.

I've also experienced the flip side of that when spring came around, and I noticed that some of the trees were dead. It's nearly impossible to tell what the landscaping around a home will look like in the summer when you are deep in the winter months.


Less Daylight for ShowingsCON #5: LESS DAYLIGHT FOR SHOWINGS

After the fall daylight saving time change, Colorado Springs starts getting dark around 5:30 p.m. In the mountains, it can be as early as 3:30, depending on where the property is located. This challenge makes it much more challenging to view homes in the evening.

In contrast, in the summer months, it will stay light until around 9:00 p.m. The lack of daylight can quickly put a squeeze on your showing schedule in the winter.


Changing schools is hardCON #6: CHANGING SCHOOL MID-TERM CAN BE HARD ON KIDS

For families with kids in school, changing schools mid-term can be very disrupting. This scenario is one of the main reasons there are so many more homes sold in the summer months when kids are out of school.

The school year schedule substantially impacts the local real estate market across the United States and significantly increases sales during the summer months.


Final Thoughts

The best advice that I could give any home buyer reading this article is finding a realtor you feel comfortable with and trust. They will help you work through all of your specific details to develop a plan of action, whether that means buying in the winter or just finding a home to rent for now.

A good Realtor will make sure that you are aware of all your options, and they'll help you look out for your best interests.

12 Pros & Cons of Buying a Home in the Winter

Andrew Fortune

Hi! 👋 I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of this website. I'm also a Realtor in Colorado Springs. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I appreciate your time spent on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or contact me through this website. I'd love to hear from you.


Our Most Recent Blog Posts:

  • Which Upgrades Add The Most Value To Your Home?

    Check out these 22 home upgrades that have the best ROI.

  • 18 Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

    Here are the most common items showing up on home inspection reports.

  • Which parts of Colorado Springs have appreciated the most?

    Find out which parts of Colorado Springs have appreciated the most.

  • The Mortgage Loan Process: A Step-by-step Guide

    The Mortgage Loan Process: A step-by-step guide through the entire process.

  • 18 ways to get your offer accepted in a competitive sellers market

    Learn about the top tactics that Realtors use to get their offers accepted.

  • 15 Pros and Cons of Buying A New Construction Home

    Learn about the pros & cons of buying a new construction home.


Blog Catagories



Search Colorado Springs Homes for Sale

Try Our Custom
Home Search

Colorado Springs Neighborhoods

Explore Local
Neighborhoods

Sell Your Home

Ready to Sell
Your Home?