I’ve been in real estate for a while now and one of the most frequent questions I’ve received is whether or not now is a good time to buy or sell a home.
This is a legitimate question because winter is not, traditionally, a popular time to shop for a home in Colorado. It seems a better time to curl up near a roaring fire and sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Why would anyone rather trudge through the freezing temperatures, the wind, and the snow to look at house after house?
The truth is that many buyers and sellers are doing just that because they understand the real benefits of buying and selling their homes now versus waiting until summertime.
Do you understand the benefits of moving now? Below, I’ve outlined some of the most influential benefits of buying and selling in winter. Of course, everyone’s situation is different so read on and decide what’s best for you and your family.
Benefit #1: You’re the Center of Attention
Wintertime homebuyers can count on having a seller’s full attention because it’s unlikely that a seller has multiple offers on the table. This is in complete contrast to summertime shopping, which requires rushed decision-making and submitting offers on multiple homes before finally ‘catching’ the right home.
For sellers, decreased inventory in the winter means that your home will be less diluted by competition. Sellers will also receive more serious offers–no one window shops for homes in the dead of winter, it’s just no fun. And of course, sellers are less likely to be bothered by the whole selling process like unnecessary foot traffic, inquiries, and open houses.
Mutually beneficial is the fact that lenders, appraisers, inspectors, and even realtors are just not as busy during the winter as compared to the summer months. What this means for buyers and sellers is that they can expect much faster processing times and more detailed work by all parties. Most importantly, people just seem more relaxed during the winter, and where there is less hustle-bustle there is more consideration and kindness for everyone.
Benefit #2: Price Negotiations are a Win-Win
Homebuyers simply want the best deal for the house they desire and winter allows this goal to be very attainable. When a homebuyer finally finds that special home, a wintertime seller will allow for more negation because they have a real reason for selling… Perhaps they are trying to sell before tax season or maybe they’re moving for a new job, family, or a difficult financial situation. Whatever the case, winter sellers are most certainly motivated sellers, which equates to an average of 1-2% in price change or concessions during negotiation.
Now, this does not mean that sellers lose if they decide to sell their home in the winter. If a homeowner is selling in the winter, it’s likely that their motivation is of greater concern than the 1-2% they might need to forfeit in the sales price or concessions. For instance, maybe a seller’s tax savings outweigh the price of negotiations or maybe paying two mortgages while waiting for the summertime market will cost more than simply working with a motivated buyer.
In the end, if a homeowner does decide it’s more beneficial to sell in the winter they can count on a win-win situation during negotiations, which leaves both the buyer and the seller happy and confident about their ultimate agreement.
Benefit #3: Beat the Fed’s Interest Hikes
As of today, interest rates have increased three-quarters of a point and are projected to increase a total of 4 points over the next year. What this means for buying power is a decrease of approximately $10,000 per quarter point of additional interest. In total, this will change the buying power of a family this year from $400,000 to $270,000 by next year.
Now, I know these numbers sound drastic and almost unrealistic but take a look at the historic interest graphic below and do your research. Rest assured that the market is not going sour; it is finding its natural balance after the recent housing slump.
The Right Answer for YOU
Buyers, maybe it matters more to you to have a stress-free shopping experience so you buy in the winter or maybe being in the hustle-bustle of multiple offers and quick decision-making excites you so you choose to buy in the summer.
Sellers, maybe you are in no hurry to sell your home or you get excited about the idea of people fighting over your home and would like to see your sales price increases by 1-2%, so you sell in the summertime. Or maybe you have an urgent reason to sell now or simply don’t want to hassle with the anxiety and stress that’s generally associated with summertime sales, so you sell this winter.
The truth is that there is no best or worst time to buy or sell a home; it always boils down to what is best for you and your unique situation. Nonetheless, this year is slightly different than most because one thing is for absolute sure…waiting for the summertime to buy or sell a home will benefit the banks.
Now, call your local real estate professional and start asking questions today. Winter is a great time to find opportunity in the Real Estate market!!
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