Winter is a tempting time to house hunt for serious buyers, as there is much less competition. Being willing to brave bad weather puts you in the minority, and thus in a much more advantageous position.
However, winter homebuyers fall into some common traps. Here are the most frequent mistakes and how to avoid them.
Most people tend to spend more money around the holidays, as there are many gift obligations. Be prudent about budgeting so you don’t end up in debt.
It can be easy for a house to look gloomy in the winter: dead grass, bare trees, sad plants. It’s important to keep in mind the time of year and not to judge the house for these winter-specific qualities. Envision what the property must look like in the spring!
Especially in the winter, closing dates are generally more flexible than they seem. Bear in mind that certain repairs take longer in the winter, and these things might push the closing date back.
This also means you need to be flexible with your schedule when it comes to viewing homes. It’s hard to find compatible times during the holidays, so you might have to move your schedule around to see your desired home.
Many people assume that buying in the winter ensures they will get a good price. But be prepared for prices to be only slightly lower than they would be in the warmer weather.
When a house isn’t priced as a low as a potential buyer might like, they may try to compensate by making a very low offer. However, this may completely alienate the seller and they may not want to sell you the house at all. Be careful about your offer and confer with your agent!