Lizzie Weakley of RIS Media’s Housecall wrote a blog recently about why it’s okay to buy in the off-season. I want to piggy-back off of that here. First of all, yes, there is an “off-season” in real estate. For the most part, winter is the time of year that the industry slows down in markets around the country.
However, there are a few good reasons why the off-season might actually be a great time to buy a home, especially in the Bay Area! As Weakley lists, there are fewer buyers crowding the markets. This decrease in competition is an excellent advantage for any prospective home-buyer. On that note, sellers seem to accept lower bids in the winter because of the low competition. In our area, we also don’t have to worry about trudging through snow storms to see a listing (one of the major reason for a slow-down), in addition to the holidays when most people are entertaining or having family visit.
Everything can move a little bit faster in winter. Home inspections can get done quicker, and mortgage companies tend to finish paperwork faster, too, because – again – they don’t have as much traffic. I should mention that in the Bay Area, with our warmer climate in Spring, the winter “off-season” tends to be much shorter than in other places, but still usually extends for a couple months at the end of the year and wraps around into January (we are nearing the end of the off-season now). Often buyers are out in January, but the sellers have not yet readied their home for sale, so we often find a switch back to a seller’s market this time of year. We will see what 2019 holds.
One more perk to buying homes in the winter? Us real estate agents have more time to dedicate to you! Sure, we love to give as much personalized attention as possible to each and every client, but the truth of the matter is that we get busy in peak seasons too. When I can focus all of my energy on one listing, it’s almost always smooth-sailing and everything gets finished at the speed of light!
Next time you are thinking of buying a home, and read that you should wait until the weather warms up again, give it a second thought. There are some big-time perks to buying in the off-season!