Why Might it be Smart to Buy a Home in the Winter?

Posted by Terry Paranych on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 3:14pm.

Home Buying During Winter: How You Can Save MoneyMany homeowners question whether they should try to buy a home during the winter or wait until the summer. There are some very compelling reasons why buying during the winter might be a good choice. Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider buying a home in Edmonton during the winter season.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

More Time From Your Realtor

Many realtors find they have more time to dedicate to each client during the winter. With fewer buyers, they can spend more time with you and help get you into the right home. If the market was more active, they may not have as much time to dedicate to your need.

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.

Prices Are Softer

During the winter, lower prices are a normal thing. However, they will spike in the spring. Most buyers will get more home for the money during the winter season.

Less Competition

Along with the lower selling prices, there are fewer buyers willing to trek out in the weather to find a home. This means you get the opportunity to submit an offer without as much competition. You may be able to get an even lower price because of the lack of buyers during the winter.

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.

Less Chance of a Bidding War

When you start searching for a home in Edmonton during the winter, you won't have as much of a bidding war to deal with. During the summer and fall many properties sold for over the asking price because of up to about a dozen buyers fighting over them. When the winter rolls around, this isn't the case and bidding wars are quite rare.

Lack of Curb Appeal

The winter doesn't make home look at great as the summer does. With a lack of curb appeal, due to the snow, it can be very easy to swoop in and get a home for a lower price than in the summer.

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.

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.

If you're looking to purchase a home in Edmonton, the winter may be the most beneficial time to buy. The prices are lower and the competition would rather be inside where it's warm than out house hunting.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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