Attribute it to whatever you’d like, but most of us feel an increased desire to hunker down and hibernate during the winter. Tis the season for hoodies, warm blankets and cozy fires in the fireplace.
Also tis one of the best seasons to buy a house.
“Are you kidding me?!” you reply in outrage from beneath your burrow of afghans and quilts while cradling a cup of hot tea like it’s Gollum’s precious. “There’s no reason for me to go outside in all of that to look at houses.”
Would you change your mind if I gave you not one reason but five of them?
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 reasons you should pull on that warm coat, tie your scarf around your face, put on those boots and get out there to search for the home of your dreams right now.
#1 Less competition
Those who have been in the housing market for any length of time this year know it’s been brutal for buying. You might have found the home that’s exactly right for your family, put in a competitive offer, and then got bludgeoned by 20 competing offers that drove the purchase price out of your budget range.
Here’s some inside information: All those buyers? They’ve flown south for the winter.
Wintertime buyers are proven to find better deals on the home of their dreams because of the law of supply and demand. Fewer buyers means more reasonable prices, and it also affords you an opportunity to be more selective about which home truly is your dream home.
Fewer buyers means fewer all-cash offers and far fewer bidding wars that drive prices up and out of your price range.
#2 More motivated sellers
Summer is a time when people can step back from some of their demands and think about what opportunities might be out there. The kids aren’t in school and vacations make people generally more liable to dip their toes into the market to see what their home maybe could sell for.
We see it all the time. People list their homes in the summer and then, when the offer that comes in doesn’t feel exactly right, they pull it off the market to wait another year.
Wintertime sellers are often the most motivated sellers in the market all year. These are folks who have to sell, not who are considering maybe selling. Their kids are in school, and they need to get from Point A to Point B to be settled in a new area, new school district and often in new jobs with new responsibilities as soon as possible.
Winter sellers are extremely serious about getting their home sold fast, which puts you more in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating.
That said, don’t lowball or make unreasonable demands. You can sabotage yourself if you get cocky, and word will spread. Instead, work with your agent as a Calm & Confident team to determine the best negotiating strategy.
#3 A true look at the home
Winter puts the most stress on a home. This gives you the perfect opportunity to evaluate a property in the worst possible conditions. Are the windows drafty? Does the furnace adequately heat the home? Is the driveway going to be a pain to shovel? Are there ice dams on the roof?
You can’t find any of these things out on a nice spring day. But while Mother Nature is in town to check out the Arch and the Kirkwood Ice Arena? That’s when homes show their worst warts. Because of that, winter buying can help you avoid large surprise repairs.
#4 It’s easier to move
“Wait. What are you talking about? Moving with snow on the ground and in all this cold is easier?” Well, yes, it can be.
You know who’s less busy during the winter? Movers. That means it’s easier to find a reputable, professional moving company at a better price compared to when there are hundreds of people trying to do the exact same thing you are.
Be flexible, allocate a few days for the move, and you might even be able to negotiate a better deal with the people who will be doing the move. Then, the snow is their problem, not yours.
Oh,and by the way, it’s much easier to schedule a date in the winter for complimentary use of our moving truck as part of The Allen Brake Team’s Calm & Confident Home Sales Experience.
#5 A quicker close
During the busy spring and summer months, the best mortgage brokers are going to beat peak demand. The workload can be insane. That means the timing of your big move is not up to you; it’s up to your lender and their ability to get through the huge stack of files on their desks.
In the winter, that stack is smaller and you’ll close faster, maybe up to 25% to 30% faster.
So what do you think? Did those five reasons motivate you to come out of hibernation and take advantage of the season to make your home buying dreams come true?
Whenever you’re ready, The Allen Brake Team is Here!