As the holiday season of 2020 approaches, there are two big ideas Benton Capital wants you to remember if you’re shopping for a home. First, you don’t buy a house — you win it. And second, it’s crazy to think the period between Halloween and New Year’s Day is a terrible time to purchase a home (in reality it can be one of the best times).
What do we mean by winning a home? If you love a property and it fulfills your needs and wants for the next several years, you will soon realize you’re not in the buying game — you’re in the betting game. As you make your offer to the seller, you’re betting you can win the right to move forward in a transaction. The “buying” will take place over the next several years through consistent, affordable monthly mortgage payments that Benton Capital can secure for you.
Next: don’t take the inherent advantages and benefits of shopping for a house (and making an offer) for granted during late October into Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s Eve. Although there are less homes on the market for sale, there are usually less buyers looking for homes! However, these buyers are serious shoppers. It can work in your favor — just remember the following:
- Keep a sharp eye on ALL features of a house, because colder weather turns home shoppers’ attention to the inside of homes on the market rather than the outside. If the inside is what counts, the holiday season fits right into this seller strategy. Buyers like yourself will bask in the warmth and coziness of the homes they visit, fantasizing about making the house theirs. However, it’s also a chance (depending on your geography) to see how the house is holding up in winter weather as well. Don’t forget to examine the home’s outside qualities and characteristics as well.
- Showtimes for homes can be more conducive, whether it’s a private showing or an open-house event. Sellers around the holiday season know that convenience is key. While life gets busier on the Christmas shopping front, it can slow down for many on the job front, the school front (less activities for kids), and other extra activities during the year. A little rearranging of your holiday activities can net you the most convenient home-shopping schedule.
- If you’re serious about shopping for a home, you’ll have a bit more time to view properties because of holiday schedules — but remember that others will too. Throw in some vacation days to get away from your job and you can orchestrate your holiday calendar and time-off from work around home shopping. However, remember that your average buyer-crowd is also serious about purchasing a home since it’s fall or winter. Like you, these holiday home seekers have cleared their schedules for house hunting and won’t be encumbered by the typical spring/summer seasonal distractions.
- Entering someone else’s house leading into the holiday season will foster the meaning of “home” more than any other season of the year. For most buyers, “home” is symbolic with love, family, friends, and so much more. You’ll most likely be greeted with the warmth of a festively decorated interior as you enter the premises in the holiday mood. Enjoy this sentiment but look beyond it. The seller may be “branding” his or her house better than you can ever imagine with decorations, scents, and other holiday luxuries. Remember to take an objective look at the property just like you would in spring or summer.
- Positive emotions are running high with Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve on the horizon. Your homebuyer heartstrings could be telling you, “The house could be OURS by Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve!” It can be a healthy sentiment if properly placed within your set of expectations. Just remember that every property has its escrow issues, whether big or small. Be open and nimble to quick changes due to the property, seller circumstances, or any other unforeseen issues or dilemmas.
- You may experience a much smoother escrow process due to the slower time of year. Since many in the real estate industry won’t be bogged down by the typical number of property transactions happening in spring and summer due to lower volume during the holidays, several title processers, escrow specialists, and real estate agents can focus on YOU. The home-seller’s escrow timetable won’t necessarily shorten, but certain steps along the way will feel faster.
- Relatively speaking, there’s much less seller competition going into the holidays, which means “serious” focused buyers are looking at homes right alongside you. It works both ways: even though the holiday season could be perfect for buying a home, the scales are sometimes tipped in favor of sellers when it comes to the supply of properties versus demand during this time of year. Also, there are usually significantly less brand new homes coming onto the market from nearby homebuilders, so “existing homes” garner even more attention from holiday buyers.
- Pockets of buyers like yourself exist during the holiday season that aren’t around during other times of the year. Some home shoppers from spring and summer are still looking around because they don’t want to miss out on the right opportunity. Also, sometimes companies choose to relocate their headquarters and workers leading into the holiday season, and if their sights are set on purchasing immediately, these families will add to the mix of colder-weather shoppers.
Benton Capital wants to help you realize your dreams this holiday season! Get a jumpstart by getting pre-approved for a mortgage with a competitive interest rate and streamlined process.