Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should put off searching for the perfect house. If fact, now may be one of the best times to buy. Really. Here’s three reasons why buying your house in the off-season (November-March) may bring you big benefits.

1. House Sellers are Motivated

Many homeowners are eager to finalize a house sale now, saving them from the work of winter home maintenance - think shoveling, heat bills for house showings and more. The burden of keeping a house on the market can be even more pressing for sellers who have relocated or retired.

If you’ve found a home you’d like to put an offer on, dealing with a motivated seller can work to your advantage. In the off-season, sellers may be more willing to negotiate:

  • The price of the home
  • Closing costs or closing date
  • Terms of the sale, including things like household appliances or other items

2. Fewer Buyers in Competition

Generally when the housing market slows down each winter fewer houses are for sale and buyers become less interested in shopping. Use this to your benefit.

Less competition from fellow buyers means:

  • Fewer competing offers when you find a house you’re interested in.
  • More leverage during negotiations with sellers since they aren’t picking from a slew of buyers.

3. Potential Savings

The first two benefits on our list can add up to potential savings. Motivated sellers who aren’t juggling multiple offers may lower the asking price or throw in other perks for a qualified buyer.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the median home price in Wisconsin for homes sold in January 2018 was $169,000 compared to $195,000 for July. That’s a cost difference of more than $25,000. For the past three years, the difference in median home price between these two months falls between $25,000-$28,000.

Bonus Benefit: This time of the year is slower for many businesses, including moving companies. If you’re looking to hire movers, it should be easier to coordinate compared to the busy summer months.

Give sellers no reason to hesitate when you place your offer by being pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s an easy step to take to show sellers you’re serious and get an accurate picture of what you can afford.

“Being pre-approved for a mortgage is just another advantage you can benefit from during the off-season. If you’ve been hesitant to start your home search, now’s a great time,” says Tony Scalzo, Mortgage Lender at Merchants Bank in Eau Claire.

To learn more about pre-approval, contact Tony today to get your questions answered and schedule an appointment.

Source: Wisconsin Realtor Association

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