‘Tis the season… for buying a home during the holidays. Between the traveling, cold weather and holiday madness, this time of year may not be the peak home buying season. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good time to buy.
While the holidays are a great time to spend time celebrating with friends and family, it’s also a fantastic time to take advantage of some of the best deals of the year. And no, we’re not talking Black Friday sales. Believe it or not, this includes deals on real estate properties.
While the weather may be chilly and there are historically less homes on the market, there are actually quite a few advantages to buying a home this time of year. According to a study by ATTOM Data Solutions, December is the best month of the year for finding real estate deals. If you can brave the cold to house hunt this hectic season, you’ll surely be surprised by what you can find.
Check out these benefits and learn how you can secure the best holiday deals around.
Sellers are more motivated
Finding motivated sellers isn’t hard to do this time of year. The holidays aren’t the most popular time of year for real estate. This includes selling a home. While the reasons to sell a home vary, those selling their homes this time of year are doing so because they have to, rather than want to.
Many of these homes are ones that didn’t sell during the summer season. With the holidays being a busy time, these sellers are looking to sell their home fast. What you might lack in choice of available homes could be balanced by dealing with a more motivated and flexible seller. This is great for buyers who are eager to find a home.
Negotiating is easier
The biggest benefit of motivated sellers is they’re going to be much more likely to negotiate. Because there’s such a strong desire to sell quickly during the holidays and there are less people looking to buy, most sellers are willing to work with buyers to get their home off the market.
The holiday spirit also tends to make people more agreeable. As a buyer, this increases your odds of successfully negotiating asking prices and walking away with your dream home at your dream price. Connect with the right agent and the negotiation process will be a breeze.
Fewer competing buyers
Competing with other buyers is by far one of the most frustrating parts of the home buying process. This is especially true during the peak summer months when buyers will find themselves in high stakes bidding wars on nearly every home on the market.
This time of year, people are often occupied with traveling, hosting and attending holiday functions, and spending time with family – buying a home is just not a priority. With many competing buyers taking a break for the season, this is the perfect opportunity to seek out homes. Shopping for real estate can pay off big with fewer buyers in the market.
Great financial benefits
Buying a home during the holidays provides more financial benefits than lower asking prices. If you purchase a home on or before December 31, you can take advantage of tax benefits.
Homeownership brings numerous tax perks including mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
If you itemize your deductions when you file taxes next year, you may be able to deduct points purchased upon closing, property taxes and mortgage interest rates. If you’re purchasing the home as an investment asset, you might be eligible for additional deductions. Of course, you’ll want to talk to your accountant about the details and what’s available in your state.
Professionals have more availability
One of the trickier parts of buying a home during the summer months is finding experienced professionals that aren’t completely swamped with other buyers and sellers. These professionals include mortgage brokers, inspectors and movers. With fewer homes listed between Halloween and New Years, these professionals tend to have more availability. Many might even offer reduced holiday pricing. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!
Real estate agents generally have increased availability during this time as well. Because they’re working with less clients, your agent will be able to give you more specialized attention than they typically would be able to. Not only will they be responsive, but they’ll also go above and beyond to help you find a home. This might include giving you early access to new or unpublicized listings!
With less competition and many sellers looking to close deals before the year ends, it’s a perfect time to get an accurate idea of a property’s worth. A knowledgeable real estate agent can guide you through the process, helping you take advantage of the seasonal dip in home sales. Fewer sellers in the market means more negotiating power for buyers, and with the right timing, this can lead to significantly reduced interest costs.
While most buyers may be focused on holiday decorations and visiting family, savvy home buyers understand the opportunity that comes with shorter daylight hours and lower curb appeal. Engaging a home inspector during this time might offer insights that are overlooked during other seasons. Moreover, buying a home at this time may provide a tax break, especially with the possibility of deducting mortgage interest. Consulting a tax professional will ensure you’re aware of all the benefits applicable to your unique situation.