Move over summer real estate market: An increasing number of buyers are turning to winter house hunting. Here are five reasons why the off-season may be the most magical time of the year.
Between travel, holiday planning, end-of-year demands at work and a natural urge to cocoon at home, people are less likely to launch a house hunt in December.
This means you’re less likely to fall into a bidding war or to have competitors vying for “your” dream home. Wait too long, and your offer won’t be the only one a seller has to consider.
For the same reasons that people are less likely to go house hunting in winter, homeowners are less likely to list in winter. Who wants to complicate their holidays, right? Motivated sellers do.
Winter sellers are either trying to sell a house that didn’t move during the peak real estate season or they’re eager to sell their home fast – so fast that they don’t want to wait till spring. They are more apt to negotiate the price, as well as conditions like dates and sales terms (such as what appliances are included in the sale).
Wow, it’s cold outside. And that provides you with a unique opportunity to check out how a home copes with winter weather. Is the basement dry? Is the furnace going strong? Are the windows draft-proof? What about the doors? Wow, how cozy is that electric fireplace?!
Seeing how the property functions under difficult winter conditions is a valuable insight that you can only get at this time of year.
Spring is when the real estate market hits its stride, with the highest number of house hunters battling it out, often in bidding war scenarios. You’re likely to pay more for your home if you buy during peak season. So, it’s smart to get a jump on the spring market.
Inspections are tough to complete.
Snow and ice can obscure roof shingles, foundation cracks, or grading around the building. And an inspector won’t go on an icy, dangerous roof. You also won’t notice a mildewy smell in the basement in the winter, but you might in the spring.