At this time, you may be noticing your neighbors taking down “For Sale” signs and putting up Christmas lights and decorations instead. Typically we find that during the holiday season and winter months is when buyers and sellers will take a break and regroup for the new year. But there are several reasons why staying active (buyer or seller) during a seasonal slowdown can work to your advantage.

Traditionally speaking, spring is when most buyers come out of the woodwork, starting their home search as more homes become available for them to choose from. But continuing or beginning your home search during the holidays, can give you more flexibility — and more options.  Here are a few reasons why …

Less competition:  If you’re tired of being defeated by all the home bidding wars, the holidays may be your season. While buyer activity has remained high throughout most of the year – due to record-low mortgage rates making homebuying more affordable — traffic will likely be less come winter. With fewer buyers out there to compete with … the likelihood of bidding wars becomes less, thus you’ll have more properties to choose from.

More time for house-hunting:  With the market as crazy as it has been, buyers have been forced to act fast if they want to “win the bid.”  Now, you can take a breath and spend a little more time looking for the right house, checking off as much of your wish list of wants & needs.  Save some time during the fall and winter and shop online, as many of us have been doing already, so you can spend the bulk of your time shopping for the perfect gift for yourself… a place to “Call Home.”

Lower interest rates:  While many homebuyers are expected to put the brakes on their home search around the holidays and winter months and resume in the spring, I would just say this … we only know what we know now.  Interest rates now are at an all-time low, and with talk about them going up heading into 2022.  If this falls true, this gives you, the buyer, less buying power.  There are also statistics that speak around home prices possibly going down in 2022.  Keep in mind … even if that be so, with the possibility of interest rates going up, your monthly payment would still be higher.  Speak to your mortgage lender about these scenarios – it could be an eye opener.  

Potential for negotiation:  Since we have been in a seller’s market for some time now, negotiations have been far and few between, given the seller having the upper hand.  With fewer buyers out there, sellers may be a little more willing to negotiate.  

End-of-year tax breaks:

Home purchases now give homebuyers the chance to enjoy an important tax write-off. Homeowners can deduct their mortgage interest on primary residences up to $750,000, along with combined deductions up to $10,000 of local, state, and property taxes. Seek guidance from your tax advisor for more specific information on this benefit.

For the seller:  There is some talk about home prices possibly going down in 2022 … again, we only know what we know now. There are still buyers out there wanting to buy now, but certainly will be less during the holiday and winter months.  If you want to expedite your sale, seek the advice from an experienced Real Estate Agent to discuss your specific real estate goals. He or she will give you the guidance you need to make your home sell with the least amount of stress.

For the buyer:   It is important to have in hand, a pre-approval for a mortgage.  This is key for any seller to consider accepting your offer.  Knowing what your budget can afford you and obtaining that pre-approval from the lender is key to getting you “Home for the Holidays.”

Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.

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