Purchasing a home in Edmonton is not often on a To-Do list during the Christmas season. Most people have a million other priorities and not enough hours in the day to get things done. Company comes to stay, the community association has asked you to contribute baking and chaos reigns supreme. Is it possible that the busiest time of year might be the best time of all for Santa to bring you a new home for Christmas? Read on!
Sellers are motivated in a big way
No matter what market conditions are like, business slows down in the late fall and early winter in Edmonton. The market here has been slower and this holiday season might be incredibly slow but here’s what happens. The number of showings that a seller gets down slows to a crawl. Cold weather certainly doesn’t help. There are people who need to sell their homes and slower traffic is a huge concern. Sellers get worried and so if an offer does come their way, they are more willing to negotiate a sale. And with that willingness can come some agreement to a lower price. Often, people who list this time of year are serious sellers, committed to the process and eager to offload their properties. This can mean thousands of dollars in potential savings for the buyer.
Not all sellers in our multi-cultural city celebrate Christmas anyway.
Avoid other buyers
Because not many people are out looking you might snag a great property without risk of simultaneous offers that would drive the price up. What this means is that you can take your time with an offer. You can leave an offer on the table longer. You can take time going back with a counter-offer. There’s less panic that someone will come along with a better offer. This would also be to your advantage if you need extra time to get your financing in place or if you want a thorough home inspection. If you have special conditions in place there may be extra time to have those conditions waived.
Moving might be cheaper
Not many people are moving the week before Christmas. If you hire a moving company you might be able to negotiate a lower price. If you’re moving yourself, you might be able to sneak away from work more easily this time of year to get moved. Maybe you’re one of those Albertans who need to use up vacation time before the year-end.
How to create more choice this time of year
So, you’re in the market and you’d really like to buy but there seems to be limited choice in the Edmonton community you’ve been admiring. At this time of year, frustrated sellers may have let their listings expire because they believe Christmas is a poor time of year to be selling their home. Sellers may want to have their celebrations and might try to list again in the spring. Your real estate agent may be able to pull up expired listings and see if those sellers might entertain a buyer after all.
The perils of buying this time of year
If we get snow, and lots of it, you may not get an accurate picture of the landscaping. The condition of the lawn, the health of the shrubbery, the condition of the shingles on the roof. If you love the home but aren’t sure of these other aspects, this stresses the importance of asking for a conditional sale based on a home inspection.
Also with the holiday season, lawyers, land titles and mortgage brokers may be difficult to get hold of. It would be advisable to get your ducks in a row before making an offer to ensure you can meet a closing deadline.
If the sellers are in full celebratory mode with a house full of tinsel and trees, take care to look past the decorations. This could go either way – you love the home because it looks merry and bright or you hate it because the decorations are over the top. It’s like entering a fantastic home but the paint colour on the walls is off-putting. Look beyond and you might be looking at the future home of your dreams.