Rick BissonThe warmth of this autumn has been memorable; record breaking, in fact. In many ways, it feels as if summer was prolonged, providing just a short transition into winter. As mid-November ushers in a wave of Arctic temperatures, a shift in the real estate market follows.

One change in the home selling world is highlighted by sellers withdrawing their homes during the winter months. Another common trend amongst “would-be” sellers is the adage, “I’m waiting to put my house on the market in spring. That’s the best time to sell.”

Repeated enough times this sentiment can settle in as reality … yet is it fact or fiction?

With the season’s shortened daylight and colder temperatures, most sellers assume buyers are hibernating for winter. It’s true, buyers hunker down. However, many are inside, actively searching for homes online and driving around neighborhoods in the warmth of their vehicles.

If the right property goes on the market during the chilly months, a serious buyer will take action. Consider: Buyers active in the market during this time of the year are serious buyers. Serious buyers usually mean serious offers. Further, there is less competition from other sellers who have chosen not to have their property on the market at this time of year. Less competition often translates into a more advantageous transaction for both the buyer and seller. Winter closings may also be favorable as home buyers usually desire a quick closing for many reasons.

From a historical perspective, yes, selling in the spring and moving in the summer has been the preferred arrangement for families. Moving during the summer allows families to transition and prepare for the new school year. Additionally, real estate agents boast that over 50 percent of homes are sold during the summer.

Today, however, more than half of buyers aren’t married, and their decisions aren’t based upon school schedules. Selling in spring and summer isn’t as relevant as it used to be. Instead, it could be said that the best time to sell a home is in November, December or January.

Here are some prior year sales figures supporting winter home sales.

Statistically, from November through January in each of the past three years, an average of just under 1,600 properties sold in the counties comprising our Midcoast area. Last year, 39 percent of the homes sold in this area during this period sold for less than $200,000; 50 percent closed at between $201,000 and $499,999; 9 percent sold for $500,000 to $1,000,000, and 2 percent were above $1,000,001. These numbers illustrate that a home in good condition, priced correctly and marketed well will sell during any season.

For some would-be sellers the concept of selling in winter seems counterintuitive. For most, spring brings thoughts of not just green grass, daffodils, tulips and forsythia, but of new beginnings and projects. In reality, by the time the grass is green, the gardens are in full bloom and the leaves on the trees have created their canopies, the calendar may have crossed off into late June.

Deciding when the best time to sell your home is yours to make. Keep in mind that each selling situation is unique. Consult with your trusted Realtor. Discuss your options and the steps to selling your home.

If you find that you want and need some hard facts and figures to help you make your decision, ask for a Comparative Market Analysis. Using the data from this report (which includes attributes and selling prices of homes relevant to yours that have been listed for sale, recently sold, or expired from the market), can identify buying trends in your local market area. Look at the results, talk about your choices, and narrow your options until you’ve made a decision that’s right for you.

This column is produced by Rick Bisson and his family, who own Bisson Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty of Midcoast and Sugarloaf.