With the snow falling and temperatures dropping, doing anything other than staying in the warmth might sound to you like crazy talk. So buying a home in winter probably sounds utterly insane! However, despite the cold, there are a number of benefits of a winter move.
The world of real estate sees peaks and troughs over the year, with winter being one of the deepest troughs. Buyers who buck the trend can take advantage of this typically slow period and reap many rewards. So, if you’re in control of your moving time-frame, it’s well worth considering a winter move, especially if you’re on a budget.
The following points assume you wish to purchase a home, though the same can be applied to those looking to rent.
There’s Less Competition
Real estate transactions are typically at their peak in late spring and throughout the summer. As autumn comes and the kids are back to school, things tend to slow down and when winter’s icy grip takes hold, most folk have other things on their mind than moving. But sellers don’t stop listing their homes, however.
New homes come onto the market throughout the year for a variety of reasons and winter is no different. For example, some sellers may need to move quickly in order to start a new job in the new year. The difference is that there are fewer buyers, ensuring properties typically remain listed longer, giving you the chance to take your time and take your pick!
More Chance of a Quick Purchase
Since there are fewer buyers and homes are on the market for longer, there’s an increased chance that you’ll be able to close a deal quicker than in summer. The longer a home is on the market, the worse it looks for the seller. Many sellers will be keen to close the deal quickly to avoid keeping their For Sale signs up for too long.
Additionally, if the seller wants to be out by the New Year in order to start a new job or to migrate to warmer climes, your chances of a quick purchase increase further. Over summer months, many sellers may hang on until a better offer comes along.
Great Opportunity to Negotiate
With fewer buyers, and sellers having more to lose by not selling their house quickly, winter is surely a buyer’s market. While you may not hold all the cards, you at least hold many more than in busier real estate months, putting you in a strong position to negotiate a great deal.
In winter, sellers are generally more motivated to negotiate anything from the price to the closing details and may even stretch to including more appliances. Avoid making an insulting offer, however, and don’t assume there’s no one else buying. As always, do your research and pitch a fair offer for what you’ll get in return.
More Affordable Services
The world of real estate incorporates numerous professionals, including realtors, home inspectors and appraisers, lawyers, moving companies, and storage facilities. As transactions slow down over winter, so too does their workload. Not only does this mean you’ll have much more success in finding the services that are best for you, when you need them, but their fees will generally be lower.
Moving companies, for example, can offer discounts over winter months of as much as 30% off their summer prices. Additionally, their schedule will be freer, enabling you to pick and choose the perfect moving dates more easily. As a final bonus, professionals across the industry will have more time to dedicate to you and your move, thereby offering a more personal service.
Moving in winter might not sound like much fun at first, but it can save you a lot of time and money. On top of that, a winter move will put you in the driving seat, giving you ample opportunity to find the ideal home and negotiate the price and terms that suit you best. Surely that’s worth a couple of days in the cold!