Over the years buyers and sellers have asked the question: “is there an advantage to buying a home in the winter?” Many might not think that this is an opportune time to buy or sell your home in the winter.
When it comes to shopping for a home, winter is not the most popular season. The weather isn’t ideal as it is cold, windy, snow is on the ground, and the days are shorter. This can make it harder to get out and look for homes when all you want to do is hunker down and stay inside appealing. During this time real estate sales also slow down, with fewer homes are on the market, and many people tend to wait to buy or sell until spring hits.
However as a home buyer, you can benefit from going against the grain and looking for a home in the winter. There can be some perks to shopping for a home during this time – advantages that may make the buying process easier and more productive.
Keep in mind some sellers will ask their real estate agents if they should take the home off the market for the holidays. Those sellers who do not remove their homes from the market could have a situation that makes it dire for them to sell right away.
Advantages To Buying A Home In The Winter:
- There are fewer buyers
The number one reason to buy a home in the winter is that there are fewer buyers! As a buyer, you want to be special – you want to walk into a home and have the owner to be excited that you are there. In the spring and summer, there is no shortage of potential buyers, meaning that in more vibrant markets you face competition. Having more potential customers will increase the chances of a bidding war. You might even struggle to get an opportunity to make an offer, as houses are being snatched off the market at record speeds.
In the winter, sellers tend to get less attention and in turn are more likely to work with you. The laws of supply and demand are always at work when it comes to real estate sales. The current inventory of homes for sale will always have a bearing on how the real estate market is fairing.
If you are looking to buy a home in the winter and there happens to be a ton of homes for sale you may get an even better deal!
- Could get a better deal.
The possibility of fewer buyers in the market, can potentially get you a better price on the home you want to buy. The seller is likely to not have as many offers and will be willing to negotiate a better price in order to make the sale. There is no guarantee that you will find something for a steal, but the natural flow of supply and demand will increase your odds of finding a home for a fair price in the winter.
Getting a better price for a home is even more likely if the owners home has been on the market for a while. With a long winter ahead of them, sellers may be more willing to discount their price to get their home sold.
- You get to see how a home works in harsh weather.
In New England the winter season can is typically the toughest season on your home. The cold, moisture, and wind will test the ability of homes insulation and find any leaks and repairs. This is something that you will want to know about if you are going to buy. If the insulation is no good, for instance, you are more likely to notice it as you view the home.
Serious problems like an ice dam are also likely to appear. Such information can be extremely useful in your decision making and your negotiations about the final price of the home.
If you find the home to be drafty for some reason, it might make sense to get an energy audit done after purchasing the home. Buying a home in the winter affords you the opportunity to discover these things which otherwise might not happen in a warm weather season.
- The seller may be moving out of necessity.
Homeowners are just like everyone else – many of them would prefer to sell in the spring or summer. However, they could be in a situation where selling is necessary due to circumstances beyond their control. They may be moving for work, for family or due to financial hardship. Whatever the reason, these sellers are ready to unload their homes now. As a buyer you might be able to benefit from their need, closing sooner and for a better price than you would in the more popular months.
Whatever the reason, these sellers are ready to unload their homes now. As a buyer you benefit from their need, closing sooner and for a better price than you would in the more popular months.
The Downsides to Buying a Home in The Winter?
There is obviously a reason why it isn’t popular t0 buy or sell in the winter which means there is obviously some downsides to buying a home in the winter. Below are some things that could potentially give you pause for purchasing a home in the winter.
- You are limited on the number of choices available. Since there are usually fewer homes for sale during this time, you are left with minimal options. Many home sellers tend to chose to wait and sell in the Spring.
- The cold, snow, and icy conditions make it the worst time of year to look at a home.
- If you just experienced a great deal of snow then you might not have a good visual of the yard.
- You will have to start maintaining the home like plowing the driveway and shoveling the walk.
- You will start paying for utilities at a time that where they are much more expensive.
- Days are also shorter with less daylight available for looking at homes. It might be tough to go out and look for homes if you have a busy schedule, especially during the weekdays.
If you already own a home and are thinking about selling, make sure you check out our winter home selling tips. You will see lots of great advice on how to increase the odds you will sell quickly and for the best price during the winter season. I hope you have enjoyed these great reasons to buy a home in the winter!