Bucking Convention Portland-Style and Selling Your Home in the Winter
Portland is an incredible place to live, and the word is officially out – internationally. Because of this, people are still flocking here from all over the country to take advantage of our creative culture, our restaurant and arts scenes, our unparalleled access to the great outdoors, and our mild Pacific Northwest weather. If you’re looking to sell your home in Portland this winter, this is certainly good news.
Portland enjoys a robust and fast-moving real estate market--a market in which the conventional wisdom (that you can only get top dollar for your home in the summer months) doesn’t really apply. There are so many buyers in the Portland market, that basic economics of supply vs. demand have less of an effect simply because supply is so low and demand so high.
But there are still things you must consider when selling your Portland home in the winter – especially if you want to maximize your return.
The Holiday Hangover
The first two weeks of January, weeks two and three of the season, definitely can be a very challenging time to sell. True, there is very little inventory on the market, which is good, but there are also very few buyers that hit the ground running on January first, looking for a new home.
It takes most people a couple of weeks to recover from the holidays enough to get the ball rolling on finding a new place to hang their hat.
For this reason, it is generally best to avoid listing a home between mid-December and mid-January. Even in one of the least religious cities in the nation, people are still tied up with obligations and focused on friends and family for the last two weeks of the year, and need the first two weeks of the New Year to recover.
The Portland Weather and Weatherization
The good news is that standard Portland winter weather does not generally present a problem when it comes to effectively showing a home. Portlanders tend to be pretty blasé about forty degrees and drizzling, and are used to the diffuse light and short days of a Pacific Northwest winter.
That said, any days that deviate from forty-something degrees and drizzling can put a serious hamper on the buyer traffic. Harsh weather (snow or ice, even temperatures below freezing without precipitation) can shut the city down completely. And, when the sun comes out and the mercury doesn’t drop, everyone takes advantage by gardening, going for a hike, hitting the slopes, or at the local park.
Thanks to energy efficiency testing requirements that went into effect at the beginning of 2018, you might be in for a bit of a hiccup if you’re trying to sell a poorly insulated home, or one with a decrepit furnace, during the winter months. It can be challenging enough to create a cozy, weatherproof environment in some of our fair city’s older homes just so you can show it. Add to that a report that shows poor energy efficiency, and you could be waiting until spring in order to field a decent offer.
Finally, a Word About Pricing
Lastly, let’s talk about how selling your Portland home in the winter months can impact your ability to get top dollar for it, while avoiding unexpected costs. As mentioned above, the basic economics of supply and demand apply to the Portland real estate market in the winter months, but once we get past mid-January, these pressures ease up as prospective buyers flood the market.
If however, you are trying to sell a fixer, then you may wish to wait until the weather gets a bit better and people break out the (rose-colored) sunglasses.