It may be late December, but around this time of year is when people start thinking ahead to the spring market to buy or sell their home. Why wait? It’s true this is traditionally a slower time of year for real estate, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If you are in the market to purchase this is a really great time to look for a couple reasons. Nothing tells you more about a house than the weather this time of year. Rain and snow are Mother Nature’s way of giving you the inside scoop. Excessive moisture in a basement, snow melting quickly from a roof, drafts around windows, and other such things are far more easily detectible this time of year. These issues may not be deal breakers but will give you an idea of anything you’d want the home inspector to pay particular attention to, or the feasibility of future projects such as finishing a basement space.
Another advantage to looking this time of year is you have less competition. There may be more homes to choose from in the spring, but there are also more buyers looking at them. This can lead to a high pressure, multiple offer situation and may push the purchase price higher in order to win the bid. In the winter market it’s a little easier to negotiate offers which affords you more time to make decisions you are comfortable with. Typically, there are more available homes than there are buyers which could put you in a superior negotiating position.
If you’re a seller, don’t let the above paragraph worry you. That does not mean you will be giving your home away for pennies on the dollar. Time of year never changes the fact a fairly priced home will sell. There may be a little more negotiating, but you never have to sell for below what you’re willing to. There are still plenty of fish in the sea regardless of season.
Another advantage of selling this time of year is the quality of the buyers. Tire kickers don’t come out in the snow. You may have fewer showings, but those you have are more viable to result in an offer. You also can benefit from the first paragraph and take care of any potential issues that may cause a buyer pause. Take a look at your home from a buyer’s perspective and address what needs done. It’s also helpful to have your real estate professional give you their unbiased insight to avoid possible pitfalls during the closing process.
So, if you’re ready don’t wait. Whether buying or selling there’s never a ‘bad time’ of year to start. Your strategy may be a little different, but there’s no time like the present. Of course, having a professional by your side is always recommended to navigate the complicated waters of any real estate market. I hope you enjoyed this week’s column and if you have an idea for me to write about, I’m all ‘eers! (See what I did there?) Enjoy your week and I look forward to hearing from you.
Melissa Berube, 2019 MBOR President