The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is typically the slowest time of year for home sales and this year looks to be the same. While most consumers are looking to the great deals at stores, for those that are also looking to buy a houses, they don’t see that this is also the best time of year to get a good buy on a home too!
This time of year, most sellers have been on the market for several months (or much longer!) and are growing weary from showings (or lack of them) and are frustrated with the slower tempo of the market. This time of year weekly Pending Sales are about half of what they are in March, April and May. As a buyer, this gives you a great opportunity to be a hero to a seller by bringing them an offer that would end their struggle to sell their home before the New Year. The reward for your heroism is likely to be a lower sales price than you would have received earlier this year or what you may receive next year.
While not all sellers are motivated enough to significantly drop their price, there are good bargains in this market as many of the houses for sale are already priced well. Very recently I was in a negotiation with a buyer on his first home. We looked at everything in his price range and this home was far superior to the rest. We made an offer about $10,000 under its $220,000 asking price but ended up settling on the seller’s counter of $3500 under asking. We both looked at each other and said “you know, this house is priced right and in excellent condition… it’s worth every penny of $220,000.” Had the house been greatly overpriced, more aggressive negotiations would have been needed. My buyer is thrilled with the outcome and closes in January.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence about buying or been thinking that you’ll wait to January to get serious, you may be missing out on the best values in the market!