While California does not suffer snow for winter, in Sacramento we do get our share of cold, wet, wintry days. The watercolor view through the glass makes us think twice about outdoor activities. It’s not often you hear, “Hey, let’s go out in the rain and buy a home!” But despite December’s deep memory association to Christmas and shopping for presents, there’s actually a fair number of reasons that Buyers might want to buy a home this time of year.
- Just as most buyers aren’t out to buy a home this time of year, most sellers aren’t generally out to sell a home either so, there’s less inventory. What this means however, is that you may find you can negotiate a good deal. Why? Because these sellers may be motivated to sell quickly.
- Winter may help to reveal issues that you might not as readily see during warmer weather with a property’s heating system. With rain, it’s a great time to check out if the yard has issues with drainage or the roof has any leaks. This is so much harder to do in the dry summer months (or in a drought year). When it’s cold, it can be drafty in a home even with the heat on. Observing these conditions can point to inadequate insulation, older windows, or a lack of weather stripping around entrances. It’s also an opportune time to test out the fireplace.
- Fewer buyers are out which means that you aren’t competing with as many people when writing an offer! Case in point: I’ve heard from more than one buyer who decided to take a winter break after their multiple offers were rejected in the more competitive market of this past summer. One of my buyers decided to take only a hiatus and get back into the game which proved to be a smart move when he got an accepted offer without competition and was able to secure a price lower than appraised value!
- Sellers may be in good spirits and more generous during the holiday season which also may work in the buyer’s favor!
- Lastly, the winter months are when Realtors and Lenders tend to be less busy so you may get more attention.
The Disadvantages of Buying Right Smack in the Middle of Winter?
- There is decidedly less choice because the inventory shrinks considerably.
- It can be cold, wet, and miserable.
- The yard and trees may be bare and first impressions may look uninviting.
- There’s a shortage of daylight which makes it tough sometimes to arrange a showing after work.
As for Sellers, putting your home on the market in winter is advantageous as well. I’ll write more about that in another upcoming post, but suffice it to say that Buyers that are out braving the elements tend to be more serious and ready to make an offer.
Remember, I’m never too busy to answer your real estate questions! Let me help you FIND A HOME this holiday season! Call me and let’s sit down with some hot cider and discuss your next move! 🙂