Tips for buying or selling in winter
While spring and summer may be the hottest home buying seasons, that doesn't mean the market hibernates in winter. In most areas, there are opportunities in any season for both buyers and sellers. Here are some tips and benefits.
Benefits of buying or selling off-season:
- More motivation. In many cases, winter buyers and sellers are motivated by life events, such as a job change, that give them good reasons to start now rather than waiting until spring. That means both sides can be confident they'll be dealing with serious offers.
- Less competition. With fewer homes for sale in the winter months, sellers can be sure their homes will stand out. And although buyers will have fewer homes to choose from, they'll also have less competition from other buyers. That could mean lower home prices, although the continuing nationwide shortage of homes may help maintain current prices even in slower months.
Tips for sellers
- Start by working with your agent to set a fair price for the home. It's better to attract multiple offers than to ask for the moon and scare off possible buyers.
- Winter days can be shorter and darker, so turn on all the lights inside and add some spotlights outside to show your home at its best.
- If it's snow season in your area, be sure your walkways are clear and dry.
- Take advantage of chilly weather by making the home cozy and warm inside! Fresh baked goods or cider also lend a welcoming touch.
Tips for buyers
- No matter what the season, homebuyers should always prepare their finances, set their budget and get preapproved for a mortgage before they start shopping.
- When you're touring a home in winter, take note of things that are easy to miss in warmer months, like drafty rooms, aging windows or a leaky roof.
- If snow is covering the house and yard, use a street view app to get a look at what the house looks like in summer.
- Ask your agent about requesting a home inspection. While inspections were discouraged during busy seasons, the winter market may have cooled enough to allow for the assurance of a home inspection without weakening your offer.
- If you find a home you love, consult with your buyer's agent before making an offer. While there may not be as much competition at this time of year, that doesn't mean sellers will accept low-ball offers.
Whether you're buying or selling, an experienced real estate professional is your best guide tothe state of the market in your area.
A note from your lending specialist
If you plan to buy a home now or in the future, contact me to discuss mortgage options and get preapprovedFootnote1 before you start shopping.
1 Final loan approval is subject to satisfactory appraisal and title review and no change in borrower credit and financial condition. Preapproval is subject to terms and conditions and timely submission of required documentation; ask your Lending Specialist for details. Preapproval does not commit to the continued availability of the loan program. The interest rate shown in a preapproval is based on our current pricing and is not locked. You may choose to lock an interest rate after we receive the complete and executed purchase contract. Borrower must submit purchase contract within 90 days of preapproval. If the rate at time of lock is higher, or a rate lock expires prior to funding, or for adjustable-rate loan programs when the index value rises, we must determine your ability to repay the loan at the higher rate, which may lower the loan amount or invalidate the preapproval. Not available on all loan products. Not available on refinance loans.
MAP5008270 | 10/2022