The holidays are here, and while most people are preparing turkeys and presents, others are in the middle of their home search. Many see spring and summer as the best seasons to buy a home, but have you ever considered holiday house hunting?
The holiday season is hectic. You run around getting presents, preparing feasts, packing for your travels or trying to get some well-deserved rest. Buying a home might be the last thing you want to do. All the seasonal events, the obligations and the not-so-pleasant weather can discourage you to start the process. But there are many surprising reasons why buying a home at the end of the year is beneficial. In the end, your purchase will be all worth it. Think of it as the greatest gift of the season!
Here are the top reasons why buying a home during the holidays is a smart move:
Home prices could be lower
Thanks to the limited real estate inventory, December is a lucky month. Home prices are sometimes a bit low at this time of year. When the market experiences a limited inventory, the prices tend to go down to incentivize buyers.
However, last year was an exception. Because of the new mortgage rules taking effect on January 1st, 2018, homebuyers took advantage of December to avoid the test. Home sales rose, and prices stayed the same. Take your chances and see if this year follows the trend!
Motivation is high
Sellers who have been stuck in the market for months are motivated (and sometimes desperate) during the holiday season. They might have a tight timeframe, need to move out quickly or just want the tax advantages.
And because activity in real estate is already low, motivated sellers are willing to close the deal faster once they find a possible buyer. This means you have more room to negotiate the terms of the purchase. You can be more demanding on repairs, updates and the listing price.
Agents are also motivated to get their commission before the year ends. With fewer clients during the season, their devoted attention is yours until the deal is signed.
More availability from professionals
The holidays are a busy time for most, but for many home professionals (home inspectors, mortgage lenders, agents, etc.) it is the opposite. Since there are fewer clients booking services, your call will get at the top of the list.
On top of that, many of those involved in the real estate transaction want to finish official business and close deals before the new year. The holidays are busy not only because of the festivities. Books need to be done, and commissions need to be in. Expect less waiting times, faster closings and more time dedicated to your service. Just make sure you know their holidays hours. They need a break too.
Buyers can be fierce in the summer. With several offers competing, you’ll be at the mercy of a bidding war. But during the holidays, many home purchases are done peacefully without multiple offers on the table, or sometimes none at all.
Fewer home buyers head on a home search, and so you have fewer people competing for your dream home. While they prepare for holiday parties, you can prepare to make the final offer and save the stress of losing it in a bidding war.
A sneak peek of your home in the winter
Summer house hunting gives you a picturesque and sometimes unrealistic image of what the home really is. During the winter, you get an accurate picture of the winter maintenance tasks the property requires. Walk around the house to see if there any winter-related issues that you aren’t willing to commit to. Pay attention to the heating, cold breezes, icy driveways and roof icicles.
Take advantage of the season and start your home search today.