While spring is synonymous with the start of the homebuying season, buying a home during the holidays has benefits. In many markets across the country, housing inventory remains low, and property values continue to rise. As a Realtor, you can give your buyers an edge as they search for their dream home by understanding how to navigate the holiday season.
You can guide your clients to move up their buying timelines and make an offer this holiday season so they can be in their dream homes by the end of the year.
During the spring, many sellers prepare their homes for sale, buyers begin the homebuying process, and real estate agents are gearing up for the busiest time of year. Housing inventory is often higher during the spring. However, so is the competition, which can mean rejected offers, bidding wars, and an overall sense of frustration.
If you have buyers ready to begin their home search but are delaying it until the start of the following spring homebuying season, guiding them to buy during December might help them get a better, and faster result. Read on for more insight into why December is an excellent month for homebuyers.
Many home buyers plan to start searching at the start of the spring selling season, which typically begins in early February. The winter months can be slower for real estate transactions. So, while there is often less inventory, fewer buyers compete over the same property, which means that winter buyers could find the house they’ve been looking for without worrying about as much competition.
Sellers listing their homes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are typically serious about selling quickly. Homes that are listed during the holidays often need to sell fast, so if your buyers are looking for a home, December may be the most strategic way to accomplish this.
Holiday spirit makes negotiations less tense
A home sale ultimately comes down to the financial situations of the buyers and sellers. However, the holidays can be a joyful, celebratory time, and this holiday spirit may be included in the home negotiations. While buying a home isn’t part of casual holiday shopping, the same holiday spirit may appear in negotiations.
More time to consider the house
Since there may be less competition, buyers may have the opportunity to inspect a home to ensure it meets all their criteria. Additionally, they can carefully assess the layout, size of the rooms, storage, and other critical criteria to gain further peace of mind.
More negotiating leverage
When housing inventory is low, buyers are likelier to engage in bidding wars to ensure they get the home of their dreams. However, when there are fewer active buyers it’s less likely for competing bids. This means December homebuyers may even be able to negotiate the asking price to their advantage.
In addition to a lower purchase price, homebuyers can negotiate other points, such as the closing date, contingencies, and have the upper hand during negotiations on issues found during the inspection. If a seller is listing their home during the holidays, they likely have an urgency to sell and be willing to compromise on points that a spring seller would not budge on.
No winter landscaping or system surprises
When homes are listed during the spring, the flowers have likely bloomed, the grass is lush, and the landscaping is manicured. The warm temperatures and bright sunlight can also help mask any potential structural or foundation issues. Touring homes in the winter also allows buyers to experience the home’s heating system and view how the home’s landscaping looks in the winter.
Faster closing process
If fewer negotiations are involved, and the seller has a greater urgency to sell, there may be a faster closing process. There may also be tax deductions for both parties, which can put more emphasis on closing before the end of the year. Additionally, with fewer real estate transactions happening, the professionals involved in the closing may have greater scheduling flexibility.
Earlier move-in date
Moving companies can be booked months out during peak homebuying season in the spring and summer. Movers may have more availability during the winter, so they won’t hold up a buyers’ move-in date after the closing. Booking movers in December means buyers can book for the movers for their preferred moving date.
Things to Watch for
When you have homebuyers looking to purchase a home during the holiday season, there are a few factors to watch for, to help them navigate the buying process and ensure they make the best investment.
How Keller Home Loans Can Help
At Keller Home Loans we care deeply about the home financing and buying process. We know in today’s ever-changing real estate market, you need partners you can depend on to guide your clients through the homebuying process.
We understand the unique needs of real estate agents and homebuyers. We are committed to helping people achieve their home ownership dreams, and we continue to work to create a better homebuying process that aligns clients, Realtor partners, and technology systems. Let’s work together to find the right mortgage product for your client’s next transaction.
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