What You Need to Know About Buying a Home During the Holiday Season
Let’s start with the obvious one: less competition. This lowers the chances of multiple offers and bidding wars (something we saw a lot of last spring/summer), and should translate into a bigger discount for you. Know your market!
Serious home sellers
Why would sellers pick such an inconvenient time - while everyone is busy entertaining family and friends and enjoying the spirit of the holidays - to list their properties? Probably because they need to sell and may feel compelled to do so before the end of the year for tax purposes. What this means for you: less hassle when it comes to negotiating; a greater willingness, on the part of the seller, to agree to concessions; less chance of the seller waffling; and greater respect for your offer, even if it’s a little lower than the seller was perhaps expecting.
Faster mortgage approval
Lenders aren’t as busy this time of year, and less volume could mean faster approval. Some lenders might even be willing to reduce fees during the off-peak season in hopes of gaining your business.
Sure, home prices have been rising, but they’re typically lower in December than during any other month (so you don’t have to be as aggressive with your initial first offer, compared with buying during peak to high season). As we enter the slower home shopping season many overheated markets are moving away from bubble brink and ultimately becoming more affordable than they have been historically. If you want to take advantage of low interest rates, the time to act is now.
Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at http://veragibbons.com/. Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.