Guest article by Caleb Block, REALTOR |Homesmart Cherry Creek
With the 2018 Labor Day holiday behind us, the air is starting to feel crisper and soon the leaves will be changing colors. Autumn is upon us, and for many people the idea of looking to buy a house or condo isn’t at top of mind. However, home hunting during the fall and winter months can be very advantageous for the savvy buyer or investor.
As you may know, the peak season for home buying is in the spring and early summer, when schools are getting out for summer vacation and the warm weather makes people want to be out and about more. It’s easier to make a move during the summer as well because you won’t be fighting harsh weather conditions or snow (moving boxes into a truck when it’s icy is no easy task). However, there are some distinct benefits for waiting until the fall and winter months to start your home search.
Less competition from other buyers
While everyone else is worrying about their Halloween costumes, or fighting each other tooth and nail at Black Friday events, you can be out and about house hunting with relatively less competition. In my market of Colorado, it’s been common in the last several years to end up in bidding wars with competing buyers, especially during the spring. In the slower winter months, you may be able to get your offer accepted without the use of an escalation clause or paying way over what the seller is asking for at list price.
Sellers are more motivated
Usually if possible a seller will put their home up for sale when it is the most convenient for them. But, life happens. A job transfer, a death in the family, or other extenuating circumstances will often force sellers into putting their homes up for sale at random times of the year, including the fall and winter. With this knowledge you may be able to take advantage of the situation and be able to offer less for a home, and the seller will have to take your offer seriously even if it’s not the most ideal price for them. People trying to sell their homes during the winter months are generally very motivated.
Your REALTOR will be working extra hard for you
Most real estate agents make the lion’s share of their yearly income during the spring rush. So, not only will your agent most likely have fewer clients to deal with during the fall and winter, but they will also be hungry to get another deal done and acquire the extra income for Christmas gifts and whatever else. So give your agent a call this fall and get them into hunting mode for you – they will likely be able to help you find a killer deal when the time comes.
You can see how the house functions in poor weather
This is something overlooked by a lot of home buyers when they purchase a house in the midst of sunny bright spring and summer weather. How will the house feel when it’s in the dead of winter? Being able to go to showings when there’s snow on the roof or bitter cold will give you a good idea for how a house “lives” when the weather is inclement, and can show you possible issues that will need to get fixed – IE are the gutters functioning properly? Are the interior windows fogging due to moisture trapped inside of the panes? Is the furnace clean and in proper working order during the times when it will be put to the most stress to heat the home? This is an excellent way to ensure that the home you are looking to buy will be fully operational even in the worst weather conditions and see if the seller has properly winterized the home.
So, I hope this helps you decide if going to look at homes is a good idea during the fall and winter months. Happy house hunting!
Caleb Block has been a Parker Colorado local REALTOR for four years, helping buyers and sellers in the Denver Metro area
Photo credit: Pexels.com