December is the time when many are focused on the holiday season, and it’s all about getting ready for Christmas and New Year, while home shopping/selling is the last thing on people’s mind. Sales are usually down during December, and you might ask why not wait for the busy spring season, but actually selling or buying a home when it’s not so popular, might be a smart idea. Take a look at what benefits the winter season brings when buying/selling a property.
Buyers can count on less competition
In December, sellers are motivated to sell and buyers to buy so it is a sensational time to make a move! As a buyer you have choices. There is some good available inventory. Some sellers may lack offers, and every potential buyer is worth fighting for. This means you may have more room for negotiations as you’re not just one in a row as you’d be during the spring or summer season. Chances that your offer gets through are significantly higher as bidding wars are uncommon at that time of the year.
Less competition – Reasonable price
Sellers will be more willing to negotiate the price, especially if their home has been sitting in the market for quite some time. As a professional, negotiation is what I enjoy the most and I am always happy not to only negotiate the price but also what would be the most important to you. In December, your odds are pretty good to get a better deal, while in the busy seasons, buyers are lucky if they don’t have to go over asking price to eliminate the other competitors.
Seeing the home in harsh weather conditions
The cold winter days will give you an insight into how resilient the home to tough weather conditions is, and we all know how harsh Canadians winters can get. Issues with heating, insulation or moist are easier to spot when touring homes in the winter, and we can all agree that these elements are a pretty big deal when deciding whether to buy a property or not.
Tougher mortgage procedures as of next year
This December might be actually a busy season in the real estate market, so you might want to jump on board in the hunt for a mortgage approval under existing mortgage rules to avoid the 2018 strict stress tests that all Canadian homebuyers are already dreading. I recommend you to talk with your Mortgage adviser to know exactly what can and can’t be done. For more information on the new stress tests and their effect, watch my interview with Michael Brooks, Mortgage Broker from the Mortgage Center here.
Sellers can count on less competition as well
It’s not just buyers who can benefit in December, but sellers may look forward to some perks, too. Just like buyers, they can also count on less competition. Inventory in December is low, and there are some pretty desperate buyers who really need a new home. For example, some buyers may wish to settle in before the holidays, so they’ll be more open to pay the asking price without further negotiations just to spend Christmas at their new home.
Update the heating system for bigger profit
The cold days will especially draw attention to the heating system and how well it works. Therefore, if your heating is not optimal, replace it, and you’ll be able to sell at a higher price as interested buyers will certainly appreciate solid and functional heating more in the winter than they would during warmer seasons.
Benefit from cozy winter staging
Homes look cozier during the winter, and you can use that to your advantage as a seller. If you have a fireplace, you’ll definitely make one or the other buyer fall in love with your home if you stage it the right way. Make sure your home looks like a warm getaway from the harsh temperatures outside. The setting should include candles and maybe a fluffy winter rug. You may also use some of your Christmas decorations to woo buyers.