The short days and long, cold, wet, dark nights of winter can put many people off from buying a home. While spring is traditionally the busiest sales period for residential real estate, buying a home in the winter can be a smart move for the savvy purchaser.
In the traditionally busy spring selling season, more homes are typically available for sale and more buyers active than the other times of year. This is often the case because families with kids want to get settled into their new home before the next school year starts, in September. Others may want to get into a home in time to host and enjoy their home during the summer. It may even be because they want to use the good summer months to renovate or fix things around the place upon purchase. Think yard care and exterior painting etc. Whatever the motivation, home buyers and sellers are just more active during the spring months.
While the spring market is usually very active, the winter months can be anything but. The winter real estate market, that runs from about November to February, can be slow and dull. But this can be a great thing if you are a buyer and can find a gem in the dark dreary Vancouver winter.
Sift Through “Stale Listings”
Buying a home during winter can be advantageous if you are looking to score a good deal. While there may be fewer homes listed for sale, you will have ample time to research and compare the homes that are available. There could be several homes that failed to sell in the summer or fall months still sitting on the market in the winter. Such “stale listings” may have a vendor/s that are now more realistic and flexible in their asking price, after a long period of market exposure.
Indeed, you may tend to find a few more sellers that are highly motivated to sell in the winter. So called distress sales may be a bit more apparent as there are sometimes people who can’t wait for the busier spring selling season to arrive. They want or have to sell their home quickly to get desperately needed liquidity.
Have the Upper Hand in Negotiations
Another advantage of buying a home in the winter can be that there are fewer other buyers competing with you for the better homes on market. This means less pressure on you as a buyer and can give you leverage in negotiations with a seller. Negotiating from a position of strength is always desirable in any bargaining situation. A slower sales period allows you to comfortably perform your due diligence, prior to purchasing a place. Inserting contract clauses to your favour, is also likely more acceptable to sellers looking to move on from a place.
If you are a buyer looking to find a good deal on a home in the Fraser Valley during the slower winter months, please contact me today. Remember, you can negotiate a good deal in the winter and stipulate a closing or move-in date that’s in the spring or later. Let me show you how I can help you buy a good home, at a good price, this winter.