4 Benefits of Buying a Home in Fall and Winter
The coming of winter affects more than cooler weather giving way to frosty mornings. More homes come into the market in the spring, but the fall market tends to drop just like the leaves from the trees. Seasonal shifts in fall and winter inventory can be a boon for buyers. Here are four benefits of homebuying in fall and winter.
1. Less Competition from Other Buyers
Fewer people buy homes in fall and winter than in spring and summer. Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that the months of May, June, July, and August account for 40% of home sales, while the slowest months of sales activity are November, December, January, and February. While there may be fewer homes on the market, fewer buyers means less competition that can favor the off-season buyer.
“Sure, more summer inventory means there’s a better chance of finding your dream home,” writes Jamie Wiebe in this Realtor.com article on winter homebuying. “But your chances of successfully buying any home are higher when it’s chilly. Fewer buyers mean fewer all-cash, over-asking offers—making your traditionally financed offer more appealing.”
2. Fewer Multiple Offers
Fewer buyers in the market lessens the chance that a property will have multiple offers. This gives buyers more power in the negotiating process. Without multiple offers, a buyer is better positioned to get their first offer accepted.
3. More Motivated Sellers
Sellers who listed their properties in the spring and summer may be more eager to sell. Many sellers want to close before the holidays, giving buyers an opportunity to offer to close before Thanksgiving or school winter break. Some sellers may be looking to make a deal before the end of the year for tax reasons. More motivation for sellers gives buyers more ways to get the best price and terms for a property.
4. More Ways to Evaluate Properties
Cold weather can present advantages to the homebuyer who wants to thoroughly vet a home. For example, homebuyers can better evaluate the performance of the heating system and do a better job of investigating whether doors and windows are properly sealed against heat loss.
Winter homebuyers can check for ice dams, which indicate that heat is escaping through the roof—which is bad. A house draped in icicles is one sign of an ice dam. Ice dams can be caused by insufficient insulation in the attic along with substandard sealing of pipes and ducts where they enter the attic space.
A home may look lush in the spring and summer with leafy trees screening views of the neighborhood. But bare trees give you a more accurate view of what you’ll see from the windows.
Don’t let falling temperatures keep you from house-hunting. Fall and winter typically see fewer homes on the market, but the cold season can still be a time for homebuyers to make a successful purchase. Contact one of our “Live and Love Local” agents to get started today.