The weather outside may not be ideal temperature wise, but did you know that winter can be a buyer’s market?
Yes it’s true! Because most folks wait until the warmer weather, there is less action on the market now and this can have significant advantages …if you can get motivated!
Although there are generally fewer homes to choose from this time of year, think about how a smaller selection can actually save you time! Do you really want to wander through 40 houses? It may be simpler to to look at the smaller selection of homes for sale in the winter and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Just as there are fewer homes for sale during the winter, there are fewer buyers, too. That means less competition and sellers who are more willing to accommodate buyers. Use this to your advantage and offer a low (but not insulting) bid for the home you’ve selected, or ask for things like the furnishings or the light fixture that you admire when you are viewing the home.
The low number of buyers also means you have more time to make your decision with less competition, so you can be unrushed and thoughtful.
Availability of Professionals
Another advantage of buying a home in the off-season is the greater availability of industry professionals like real estate agents who will have fewer clients and more time for you.
Lenders will be more available also for questions and some may even have special deals during the off-season to encourage borrowers to use their services.
Even movers tend to lower their costs during the winter months, just try to maximize their savings by staying away from move times at the first of the month if possible, when demand seems to increase.
The Winter Fit Test
Viewing homes in the winter lets you see how they hold up to the weather. Did you feel cold while looking through the house? How is the heating system? Is the hot water running nicely? Are the windows letting in drafts?
In the summery months it is easy to not address these issues because the temperatures outside don’t really put the home’s “snugness” to the test!
The Winter Blahs vs. get to Know Your neighbor!
Home buyers can be turned off by the bleak look of homes in winter with their lack of greenery. But on the other hand, what better way to check out the neighbour’s? Are they tending to their shoveling on the driveways and walks? Do the city plows come through and do their job in the neighbourhood Are there signs of snowmen and forts that indicate kids in the nearby homes?
Also , remember you can ask prospective sellers for pictures of the exterior in the summer months which they should be able to comply with so at least you can get a “vision”
In conclusion, although seeing a home at its finest in the warm months may be ideal, if you have a good imagination and want to save money, NOW may be the time to seal the deal!
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