It’s true that late spring or early summer is typically the best time of year to buy or sell a home. But if you’re considering buying over the holidays, don’t be deterred by the time of year. The market is still hot in the Triangle, which means homes are readily available despite a traditional slowdown during the holidays.
Fortunately, that also means a few smart considerations can help you get into the perfect home no matter the season. Follow these three strategies to start home hunting this winter.
Build a close relationship with your Realtor
Realtors often know about new homes before they hit the market. That’s why having a close relationship with your Realtor is so important. If your agent has a good understanding of what you’re looking for, from the type of home to location to price points and even amenities, he or she may be able to find your ideal home before it’s even listed.
In fact, a great real estate agent is well connected to other agents throughout the Triangle. They’re all motivated to help their clients buy and sell with ease. These connections with other real estate professionals are what may ultimately give you the insider knowledge to find your next home. And because fewer people are buying during this time of year, there’s a better chance you won’t be dealing with a bidding war, or that a seller is highly motivated to make a deal.
Agents likely will have more time to dedicate to you in the winter, too. It’s likely your Realtor can be more responsive with more time to focus on closing. Remember that your agent is there to help you through the entire process: from house-hunting and negotiation all the way to closing. Keep that holiday stress at bay by relying on their expertise to navigate through the entire process, and when you have their full attention, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the result.
Look for opportunities with new construction
As builders begin to close out their books at the end of the year, start looking for their standing inventory to find what’s readily available to you. Builders are often motivated to sell these types of homes so they can close out the year without carrying their inventory into the new year. It’s possible to find a great deal on a new home simply because of the time of year.
There may even be room to negotiate cost savings as builders are more motivated to sell. Don’t be afraid to ask what kinds of deals a buyer can offer as you look at these homes.
Perhaps the best consideration of buying new construction during the holidays is the flexibility. Because the home is move-in ready, you’ll be able to settle into your home without waiting for a seller to move out. In addition, because demand is lower, it may be easier to go through the closing process because fewer sales are happening at the same time.
Go on the hunt for the best mortgage rate
Not only are interest rates still low, but traditionally, rates tend to be at their lowest during the month of December. The holidays are a great time to shop for the best mortgage rates as lenders look to attract potential homebuyers before they close out their books, too.
Don’t forget to ask your Realtor if they have a preferred lender. Likewise, a builder may have a preferred lending partner that offers low rates on the builder’s purchases. Mortgage hunting through every possible avenue that’s available to you can provide you with a lower-than-expected rate, which is a distinct benefit of shopping during the holiday season.
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