If you are in the market to buy or sell a house this holiday season, you are in good company.
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from the holiday season and here’s how:
If you are a seller you are often told that most homes sell in June and the average prices typically spike seasonally in June.
While this may be true for the most part you should consider a few things before waiting:
1) The buyers may be fewer during the holiday season but they are typically motivated so you get fewer “tire kickers”.
2) There are fewer listings on the market typically and therefore not as many sellers fighting for the same buyer.
3) The buyers are typically more courteous around the holidays and more patient with seller schedule restrictions.
4) The holiday mess attendant to this time of year is viewed as a “happy mess” and buyers usually can see past the out of town family member’s luggage, gift wrapping paper, smells of cookies and perhaps turkey.
5) The cost to you of waiting which can include additional mortgage payments, political changes/decisions, market pricing changes, interest rate changes, mortgage restrictions designed to cool hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto but have a negative effect on markets like Edmonton, oil prices, etc. In other words circumstances can arise that are largely out of your sphere of control.
When is the best time to sell? The answer is a question, “When is the best time for you to sell?”
If you are buyer you are either looking for a home to move into or you are looking for an investment/revenue property.
Here are the things to consider as a buyer buying during the holiday/Christmas season:
1) Typically the sellers that are on the market are motivated for some reason, after all “nobody wants to move during an Edmonton winter right?”.
2) There is fewer competition from other buyers so unless it is a court ordered foreclosure you can have a period of time to do your due diligence after your offer is accepted to get your financing in order, get the home inspected, etc.
3) The cost to waiting applies to you too:
a) if you are currently renting and a purchase will result in lower housing costs for you which is often the case with today’s low interest mortgages.
b) When you buy a place you begin to pay down some of the principle with every mortgage payment, in time the equity builds in your home providing the market prices don’t drop drastically.
c) Real estate historically goes up. Ask your parents what they bought their house for 20 or 30 years ago and you might be surprised. When you buy you start to benefit from this appreciation, providing again that the market doesn’t drop drastically or you time highs and lows of the market poorly.
Note: Points 4 or 5 mainly apply to first time buyers but what if you currently own and the prices are high or low for that matter? If you are selling to buy you will do well on the sale and not so well on the purchase in a high priced market swing and conversely you’ll do not so well on a low market sale and better on the purchase. These things balance themselves out for the most part providing you are buying and selling in the same time frame.
Timing the market is more for investors than home owners who need some place to live and view renting as temporary option at best.
Underlying it all is the motivation factor. I was once told by my mentor Dan McDonald that real estate is only frustrating for anyone involved be it a buyer, seller or REALTOR® if either or both the buyer/seller are not motivated. If both parties are motivated to buy or sell and are reasonably well educated on the current market they can usually come to terms and a purchase can happen.
This is why the holiday season, Christmas and winter in general can be a great time to buy or sell as the players in the game are motivated in more cases than warmer less hectic times of the year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Kevin Grenier REALTOR® ABR® SRS
Realty Executives Polaris
PS Get yourself up to speed on the current market call Kevin to book a time to sit down and get all your real estate questions answered.