What to look for when Buying a Home in The Winter Months

Is winter a good time to buy a house? That’s a great question and one we answer here. 

Benefits Of Buying A Home In The Winter Months

In this section, we take a look at some of the significant benefits you may find if you choose to go house hunting in winter.

Fewer Buyers

The housing market is cyclical. During the spring, the number of transactions steadily increases. Then, around July and August, it peaks and starts to go down again as the fall arrives. 

This cyclicality relates to people’s preferences. Buyers want to move when the weather is warm and not during the festive season when they have family commitments.

Therefore, if you can time your purchase right, you may get a better deal. Fewer buyers in the market often mean that sellers are willing to sell for lower prices. 

Extra Time

The Ontario housing market is also quieter in the winter months giving you more time to find the property you want. There’s less rush to get everything done so you can think carefully about any purchase before you commit. You’re less likely to make a mistake. 

More Affordable Services

Because there are fewer transactions in winter, the demand for professional services associated with home-buying also goes down. Therefore, home inspectors, lawyers, and realtors all charge lower fees. 

Moving fees often show the biggest differences. Some firms may offer 50 percent discounts if you move in the winter rather than the summer. 

Better Customer Care

Furthermore, because professionals have fewer clients on their books, they can dedicate more time to you. You’ll get faster responses when you call and more attention from the service providers you use. Delays are less likely to occur. 

Improved Ability To Negotiate

You’ll also find it significantly easier to negotiate during the winter months. If you ask for a discount in the summer, sellers won’t usually give you the time of day because there are many other keen buyers making offers that undermine your position. But, in the winter, transactions occur more slowly, if at all, giving you a chance to lower the asking price. 

Winter Home-Buying: What To Look Out For

Now that you know the benefits of being a home buyer in Ontario in the winter months, what specifically, should you be looking for?

  • Sellers who are motivated to close fast. Combining “distressed” sellers with seasonal fluctuations in home sales can result in some incredible deals. Look for households that need to sell quickly because of divorce, death in the family, or job moves. 
  • Maintenance receipts. You also want evidence that homeowners have kept up to date with home maintenance. Cold weather and heavy snow can make it impossible for inspectors to carry out their work thoroughly.
  • Delayed closing. Bad weather can also cause significant delays in how long it takes to close a deal. That’s why it makes sense to work with an experienced real estate professional when buying a home during the winter months. 

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