Articles and Advice
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Winter is the Perfect Time to Buy or Sell a Home
By: Barry Upchurch
Did the title catch your attention? How can such a thing be true for both Buyers and Sellers at the same time? Remember, when you talk about property you are talking about a unique asset. While REALTORS® and the media love to talk about how hot, cold or lukewarm a market is … usually most buyers are buying one home or sellers are selling one home at a time.
Without a doubt, the season of winter is when the best deals for buyers and sellers occur. The primary reason for this is the market thins out and can be subject to greater swings in price and other terms because buyers need/want to buy and sellers want/need to sell. Let us analyze why the winter months is a great time for some buyers and sellers.
Now is a Perfect time for a Buyer to get a Great Deal
Here are my top five reasons to jump in right now during the winter season and get that good deal that’s calling your name:
1. Most buyers are distracted with the holiday season and don’t have time to look or put it off until the next year. You can run the table by having less competition.
2. Similar to above, some buyers delay their purchase decision until they get a holiday or year-end bonus, a holiday gift from relatives and/or their tax refund. These people will be part of the spring herd that face an on slot of other buyers with a new price tag on next year’s inventory.
3. Generally, sellers who have their house on the market have or want to sell now. They know the market of buyers is thinner and have probably adjusted their mindset according. They should be easier to work with than a March or April Seller who feels like they are being courted by many buyers and can dictate terms.
4. With interest rates hovering around 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage … why wait for rates to go higher? If a home is vacant or staged, the home has no economic current economic value to the seller and it really is a negative return on investment. Every day that goes by the property tax, subdivision/community assessments, insurance, heating bills and mortgage payments all add up to a tidy sum. Many sellers are better cutting their losses and taking less now to get out of these burdens.
5. While inspecting a home in the winter might be somewhat problematic, now is the time to ask for a home warranty because you cannot inspect the air conditioner. This also gives you the chance to see how heat gets distributed in the home, if the roof leaks, how air tight the windows and doors are as well as checking on neighbor proximity when leaves from the trees are down.
If We Know We Want to Sell, Why Wait?
For some homeowners, the winter months are stressful enough, so why put your home on the market? Here are my top five reasons to do so:
1. Less competition. So many sellers pack it in if they don’t get their house sold. They don’t want the hassle during the holiday season and frankly, who can keep a clean house in tip top showing condition with guests, parties and cooking?
2. When you are selling, you also are buying. If you are upsizing, now is the perfect time to sell your lower end home, which are flying off the market, and hammer down on the upper end market which is going slower.
3. Some buyers have no choice but to buy now. They have to get their kids in a school and unless they have a contract to buy or an address they can call home, they might not be able to relocate their family. Some people just want to be settled in before a next semester starts or some jobs start at the beginning of the year when a new budget authorizes their salary.
4. If your home is vacant and you are paying money for taxes, assessments, insurance … selling is an easy way to stop the pain.
5. Rules are about to change and Congress is in session. Talk with your tax accountant. You might want to move now and fast before new laws take effect and close some tax deduction.
People can beg to differ as to when to buy or sell property, or if to sell at all, but when there is a buyer … there is always a seller.