Don’t wait until spring: here’s why winter can be an ideal time for the real estate market
While the holiday season and harsh winter weather tend to cause a lull in the real estate market, this time of year offers a number of often overlooked advantages for both buyers and sellers. With less competition and the undivided attention of your real estate broker, we can’t help but ask, why wait for spring? Below are five reasons why winter is the perfect time to buy or sell a home.
5 Reasons Why Winter is a Prime Time for Real Estate
1) Less competition. For buyers averse to bidding wars and quick financial decisions, winter is your time to shop because the possibility of multiple offers on a single property are greatly reduced, giving you more more time to consider your options. And while there may be fewer homes to choose from in the winter, having only a handful of homes to consider can save you time and mental anguish over your selection. The winter real estate market also means less competition for sellers because most homeowners don’t want the hassle of leaving their home on the market over the holiday season. With fewer properties on the market, your home will have greater exposure to potential buyers.
2) More motivation. Those looking to buy or sell during the winter months may have a greater underlying motivation than those who are willing to wait for the springtime. Properties that failed to sell during the peak season that are still on the market, suggest that a seller has a strong reason to sell their home soon. And a motivated seller is more willing to negotiate price, closing costs, or terms of the sale. Meanwhile, buyers hunting during the off-season are typically ready to make their move. A motivated buyer may be willing to pay more, close the deal faster or waive some contingencies.
3) Decreased interest rates. Statistically, interest rates tend to drop during this market downtime, creating further encouragement for serious buyers. And because these are slower months for the mortgage business, the lending process tends to be completed faster, accelerating the real estate transaction process for both the buyer and the seller. Some lenders even waive fees during the off-season to encourage borrowers to use their services.
4) Increased agent attention. Another advantage of buying a home in the off-season is the greater availability of industry professionals. Real estate agents will have fewer clients and more time to focus on the home search. Low activity during the winter months also means you will have the undivided attention of your realtor, and he or she will be working harder for you. These lean months of low sales volume encourage realtors to try just that little bit harder to negotiate a sale.
5) Peak performance. Winter is the ultimate time to ensure that all the big systems, such as heating, plumbing, roof and gutters, are functioning at peak performance. And while some worry there may be less curb appeal at this time, buyers are able to see how well neighbors tend driveways and sidewalks, whether the town plows or salts icy streets, and whether kids come out to play in the snow. Around the holidays, you might even see the neighborhood decorated in its winter finest.
Buying or selling a home is often all about the strategy. Even though the spring and summer are considered the peak time for the real estate market, it might not be the most advantageous. While so many others choose to hibernate for the winter, we say it’s the perfect opportunity to find the home of your dreams. If you are looking to beat the springtime rush, contact the experienced real estate attorneys at Anselmo Lindberg & Associates and we will help walk you through the process.