Not as Many Buyers, More Opportunity
Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for home sales. However, for a buyer’s market, the best time to go house hunting is in the wintertime. Most home sellers wait until spring and summer to list their homes, which means there are fewer homes for sale in the winter. Because of this, it benefits the buyer due to less competition and more leverage with the seller. Sellers in the winter often times have strong reasons to sell their homes quickly, such as job relocation. They’re more willing to accept a lower price and possibly add in a perk or two such as the dining room furniture or the curtains that you love. The low number of potential buyers also means you have more time to make your decision about a home, unlike in the spring when things are moving much quicker.
Observing the Home Condition
Scouting out homes in the wintertime has the advantage of seeing how they hold up under cold weather conditions. You are able to check to see if the heating system functions well or if the windows are letting in drafts. Sometimes buyers in the winter can be a little turned off by the exterior when the trees are bare and everything looks bleak. However, it gives the buyer a chance to examine the neighborhood and see how well the neighbors keep their yards up during the off-season. Do they tend the sidewalks and driveways? Are they salting the icy streets? Around the holiday season, it can also be a real treat to see if the neighborhood is bleak, grey, and boring, or beautiful and decorated for the holidays.
Greater Availability of Industry Professionals
Another huge advantage of buying a home in the off-season is that the real estate agents have fewer clients, and therefore more time to focus on your home search. Lenders will be more available for your questions and they will even waive fees during the off-season to encourage borrowers to use their services. On top of all of that, movers even tend to lower their prices during the winter months. Even though trying to find the right home can be very stressful, in many ways, buying during the winter can be easier, cheaper, and perhaps a little less hectic. The pickings might be slim, but so are the prices.