It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for ambitious homebuyers! While the holiday season generally brings an abundance of cheer and stress during the frenzy of shopping, traveling, and celebrating, it can also be an excellent time for dedicated and discerning house-hunters to nab a property for a lower price. Here are four reasons to consider ramping up your home search during the festivities.
For many people in the midst of searching for a home, the holiday season is a time to relax, set aside the pressure of trying to find the perfect place, and entertain family and friends. Thus, with less buyers actively out on the prowl, you will be faced with less competition if you find a property you truly love. There is a downside to this phenomenon. Sellers are also much less likely to list their homes during the busy winter months, so the market inventory will be less robust. However, if you are determined in your search, you can land a great deal on a property.
Selling a home during the winter season is exceptionally more stressful than buying one. Imagine trying to keep your living space spotless for showings while decorating for the holidays, shopping for presents, and cooking for guests. You’d have to be insane or incredibly dedicated to do that – which is why only the most enthusiastic sellers list their home at this time. These are the folks that want to make a sale happen now, whether for tax reasons or simply to tie up loose ends before the New Year. This means that their homes are priced to sell. Eager sellers are more likely to negotiate with you, and they’ll be just as excited to make a sale as you will be to purchase a new home.
More professional attention
Because of the dearth of other buyers during this time of the year, the months of November through January are a great time to get a little extra facetime with your Realtor. While a lot of agents take time off during the holidays to celebrate, there are a handful that enjoy working during the season because the ambitious buyers (like yourself) and sellers make closing deals significantly faster and easier. If you plan on house hunting during the yuletide, let your agent know well in advance. That way, you won’t be blind-sided if and when they take time off, or they can refer you to a colleague they trust who doesn’t plan on hibernating during the holidays.
Putting homes to the test
For buyers in areas that experience intense winter weather, house hunting from November through February can be an excellent litmus test. The roof, heating systems, plumbing, electricity, and windows of each house you visit will all be operating at capacity, which makes it easy to identify and rule out homes in need of serious repairs. While the snow might mask a property’s true curb appeal and landscaping, that may be a cheaper fix than waiting several months to realize all your windows need to be resealed.