When it comes to real estate activities, whether it’s buying or selling a home, timing is always a significant factor. Although the holiday season can be both exciting and stressful at the same time, it’s also a good time to scout for real estate properties. In fact, Realtor.com says that the Sunday right after Christmas has been historically one of the busiest days for real estate agents. During this time, clients are on holiday break and have the time to focus on the home that they’re searching for.
Why Winter’s the Buyer’s Market
Today’s buyers are always looking for a home. The nature of home buyers during the holiday season is quite different as compared to the rest of the year. Home buyers have the luxury of time and thus, can focus more on researching homes. These buyers are aware that the holiday season gives them the edge of avoiding real estate competition that’s prevalent during warmer months. This is a time when buyers can take time out of their holiday shopping schedule to look for homes.
Imagine someone showing up during your open house in minus seven-degree weather – this shows that buyers are definitely serious!
1. Sellers are more eager to close
During the winter, demand for house hunting is usually less with the holiday festivities and family gatherings. Sellers who have listed in the market between Thanksgiving and Christmas are known to be more serious about selling. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are known to be high-volume periods for open houses, where buyers should plan their viewings.
Timing is essential. Sellers who’re hoping to hit that sweet spot, posting your listing early in the morning or around midnight on the Friday right before the holiday weekend. Market trends show that these are the best times of day, where you’ll be able to attract more potential buyers.
2. Conditions are perfect for inspection
Although wintertime isn’t the most popular time to buy a home, serious buyers can take advantage of home viewing, particularly, to check on possible repair and maintenance issues. Winter conditions that showcase areas for maintenance make it favourable for buyers. Allocating funds for repair and maintenance is key in having a home, as these are usually unforeseen costs that may arise.
3. See how the home works
Again, the winter is the perfect time to conduct a home inspection and identify areas that may become problem spots in the future. Problem areas such as water leaks and heating concerns – which may not be as apparent during the warmer months – are definitely more prevalent during the winter months.
4. Less competition
Most people are busy preparing for the holiday season and doing their holiday shopping. ‘Serious buyers are those who spend their Christmas week searching for their new home. This is a very smart move, as there isn’t much traffic for showings and open houses in December as compared to spring and summer.
Just a reminder: Be extra considerate!
The most exciting part of searching for your own home is definitely the first visit to your new potential home! Nevertheless, it’s important to uphold proper etiquette during the visit, in order to maintain good relations with the seller or the homeowner.
Bring some slippers for the viewing!
Treat the home visit as a simulation of you entering your future home. You’d definitely want visitors to be careful as they enter your home right? The same is true for you. It’s suggested to bring your own slippers for the viewing, for your own comfort as you conduct your walkthrough.
Be mindful of health protocols
COVID-19 has definitely made adjustments in terms of formalities in home buying and selling, in particular, made popular as the “new normal.” Here are some things to remember when doing your home visit:
Sign Waiver forms
Waiver forms are necessary for clients to fill out and sign. In case a buyer displays symptoms, it is possible to be denied entry.
Safety and Sanitation
Safety and sanitation of the house prior to the home visit is the responsibility of the seller. Common spaces are usually disinfected to ensure safety during the visit. As for the prospective buyer, wearing a mask and sanitation of the hands are usually required. Anyone who refuses to do so may be denied entry.
The number of individuals allowed in a home for viewing depends on the size of the property. Visitors are usually asked to keep at least six feet apart from each other during the tour.
Luckily, the holiday season isn’t only a time for festivities but a good time for house-hunting! This season comes with a lot of perks for buying during Christmas. A mortgage broker can guide you and make your home buying process more informed. Contact us today for help!