1. There Is Less Rivalry
Nobody wants to look at houses while the temperature is below 0. May, June, July, and August account for 40% of all existing-home sales, while January and February account for less than 6%.
That's not great news for sellers. However, buyers should rejoice.
Buying in the winter eliminates a large portion of the buyer competition, allowing you to be a little more selective with your home purchase.
True, increased summer inventory means a better chance of finding your dream home. However, when the weather is cold, your chances of successfully purchasing a home increase. With fewer buyers, there will be fewer all-cash, over-asking offers, making your conventionally financed offer more appealing.
2. Sellers are Motivated and Eager to Close a DealMost sellers who list their home in the dead of winter are serious about selling. This gives buyers an advantage when it comes to getting the home they want. “Many people place their homes on the market at this time of the year because they need to.” Said Lauren McKinney, a Realtor. “Many sellers are looking to get out fast and will be more willing to work with you.”
You should also keep an eye on each home's "cumulative days on market," which can be found on the listing details page. It's possible that the house has been on the market for a while, giving you more negotiating power to get a fantastic home for a fraction of the price you would have paid six months before.
If you are buying in the winter, you should look for houses that have been on the market for a few months, as you may find a seller who is more willing to accept a lower offer.
But keep in mind that just because a seller is eager doesn't mean you should dramatically underbid or make unreasonable demands—you can sabotage yourself if you become arrogant. Instead, collaborate with your agent to develop an appropriate negotiating strategy.
3. You can put the house through its paces
Winter puts a strain on the home in most climates. This provides you with the ideal opportunity to evaluate the property under the most adverse conditions. A home that appears perfect in the spring may look completely different in the winter. Plus, you'll get a better understanding of what to expect on the worst days at the house: Is shovelling that driveway going to be a pain in the you-know-what? Do you notice any ice dams on the roof? What does the house look like with bare trees and shrubs? This is your opportunity to be extra critical of a house you're considering buying.
4. Hiring movers is usually less difficult.Nobody can claim that moving is easier in the winter. If you've ever moved all of your belongings in bad weather, you know how miserable it is. However, when you are not competing with a hundred other moving households, the logistics are simplified. Because of the reduced demand, you may even be able to negotiate a lower price. Just be flexible and set aside a few days for moving—if your moving day falls during the next snow storm, you may have to reschedule.
5. You can enjoy last-minute tax savings
If you're buying your first home, buying in the winter gives you a few extra months of tax breaks. You may be able to deduct mortgage interest, taxes, and points depending on your local laws, but you should consult with a tax professional before getting too excited. Your mortgage interest deduction may be affected by the new tax law.
6. Homes close faster
During the busy spring and summer months, your mortgage broker may be backed up for days or even weeks, which is extremely frustrating when your closing is scheduled around the schedule of your lender. However, DiBugnara claims that things slow down by 25% to 30%. “You will be able to close your loan much faster, as wait times are much shorter during the holiday season,” he says. That means you'll be snuggling up in front of the fireplace sooner than you thought. Is there anything wrong with that?