‘Tis the Season for Buying: Real Estate Trends in the US & Canada

janeWritten by Jane Kennedy, Real Estate Blogger and Social Media Manager for ComFree.

Jane Kennedy is the Social Media Marketing Manager at ComFree.com and writes about the Canadian real estate market, advice on buying and selling a home in Canada and news & happenings from ComFree.

When the holidays roll around and you begin compiling a wish list, it’s not always common for a new home to make the cut.  Very few buyers realize that this is actually one of the best times of year to begin the search for your new home.  Many people decide to put the endeavor on hold until the spring, missing out on a great opportunity.  The winter season creates a market that favors the buyer.  Take advantage of the benefits of purchasing a home during this time of the year, before the transition to the spring season creates a more unfavorable market. 

Motivated Sellers.

There are fewer buyers perusing the market during the winter, particularly around the holidays.  However, there still exists a large number of motivated sellers hoping to let you make their home yours.  A less competitive market results in lower sale prices.  You are more likely to get more for your money when purchasing a home during these months.  Sellers are more inclined to list their home at an accurate and fair price, making it more likely that they will accept your bid.

Quicker Sales.

With the winter months being the low season in the real estate market, a buyer can expect the process to go much quicker, with fewer hold-ups.  There is less back-and-forth negotiating between buyer and seller as both parties are more eager to finalize the process.  Because the real estate business is slower than usual, you are also more likely to get quicker and more efficient service from the agents on each side of the sale.  Buy during the winter to experience fewer headaches and less stress.

Better Interest Rates

The less busy and competitive winter season results in a dip in interest rates on most mortgages offered.  The holidays are a time of year when we tend to spend the most.  Choosing to buy a house at this time puts you in a situation where you are more like to be realistic and responsible about your budget.  Start off the New Year with an accurate financial plan by buying a home at the best price.

The overarching theme is that choosing to purchase a house in the winter months will save you both time and money.  While going this route is an economically wise decision, there are also some things to keep in mind.  While the sellers who choose to put their house on the market will most likely sell for lower prices, there are many homeowners who will make the decision to wait until the spring or summer to sell.  This can result in lower inventory and fewer options as compared to other times of the year.  The following tips are some important things to keep in mind when searching for your next home around the holiday season.

Be flexible.

The holidays often mean vacations, family gatherings and, inevitably, chaos.  Try to keep these things in mind when planning when to meet with your realtor or view prospective homes.  The process may not be as organized and predictable as you expected.  Keep a flexible schedule during the buying process easier and, as a result, the situation will be more pleasant for everyone involved.

Be ready.

Homeowners choosing to put their home on their market during this time of the year, likely have a pressing reason to sell quickly.  There are benefits to this situation as they will sell for less and the closing process will be faster and more efficient.  However, this also demands that you, as the buyer, be emotionally and financially ready to make a purchase.  Be prepared for a quick sale and for things to move at a quicker pace than you might have expected.

Be understanding.

The unpleasant weather conditions that come with winter are a major reason that many homeowners choose to wait until spring and summer to sell their home.  The drabness of cold weather and snow can make homes seem less appealing.  Additionally, the busy schedules and frequent visitors that accompany the holiday season can leave homeowners with less time to stage and prep their home.  When looking at prospective homes, keep these things in mind.  Think of it as an opportunity to see a property at its purest state, knowing exactly what you are getting.

Choosing to begin your search for your next home during the winter is a smart decision in every aspect.  As the buyer, you are entering the market during a period that favors your position.  While there are challenges that accompany buying during this time, keeping a few tips in mind while make the process more pleasant and more successful.  The home-buying experience, while stressful at times, is an exciting event.  Following a few guidelines will leave you feeling thrilled with your new purchase.

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