Ah, December 25. Bells are ringing, trees are twinkling, houses are…selling?

Well, not typically, but it turns out if you’re searching for the perfect home in the winter season, and you’re willing to put in some legwork over the holidays, there’s good news for you: you’ll face less competition and the potential to get a great deal.

Here’s why:

Fewer people are making offers.

This one is probably obvious. The holiday season is usually so crammed with visitors and bills and to-dos that few people want to add a major decision like home buying into the mix. This might (understandably) be the case for you. However, if you’re open to the idea of a little work during the holidays, and have a realtor that’s game, it could work out in your favor. If a seller doesn’t already have an offer on the table, yours is likely to be the only one coming through. And the seller may be more likely to take an offer because…

If a home is on the market in December, the seller is probably serious.

Many homeowners wait until the spring (or at least the new year), to list their home. If a seller puts the house on the market in the fall, hasn’t had any serious buyers, and chooses to keep it listed through the winter, they’re probably pretty ready to sell. And that means they are likely to budge on the price or make concessions to the buyer to get the deal done. You’ll still need to find a home inspector to make sure the house’s structure and components don’t have concerning issues, but if you can find someone to work during the winter holidays, you may be better off than if you wait until the New Year, when others will be hot on the heels of change and resolutions for a new home. Plus…

The holidays can put sellers in a great mood, or make them anxious about finances.

And either is a good thing for a buyer. The holidays always create unexpected expenses, and people selling their homes will probably be relieved to know they have a big ticket item bringing in money at the same time those hefty credit card bills come due. Plus, if the seller is in a good mood or just wants to have the deal done by New Year’s Eve, they may be more amenable to negotiating on the price.

A few tips to remember:

The time it takes from closing to move-in varies, but it’s safe to assume it will take at least a month, so even if you close around Christmas, you’ll likely be moving some time around the end of January.

Rushing to buy a home is never a good idea. Make sure if you’re putting an offer down that it’s the right home for you and your family, regardless of the time of year.

Questions about the mortgage process? We can help with that. Contact us today and see if we can make your holidays just a little bit happier.

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