Winter can be a great time to snag a deal in real estate. But there are several pitfalls your home buyers will want to watch for at this time of year. Here are a few:
Accumulating too much holiday debt.
The holidays can be an easy time to add on more debt. But if you’re in the process of buying a home, you need to make sure you don’t add on any more debt. “Even if your credit is in good standing, suddenly racking up a ton of holiday shopping debt will change your debt-to-income ratio and potentially negate your pre-approval,” warns Alicia Brison, a real estate professional in Sacramento, Calif.
Not seeing past all the winter blahs.
Homes don’t always look the best in the winter. Bare tree limbs and dead grass isn’t the best for curb appeal. But buyers need to think past the gray backdrops and envision what the home looks like at other times of year so they don’t miss out on a great house.
Oblivious to closing date delays.
The winter can pose several delays to closing, particularly for new builds or anything that needs to be fixed on the home. Be prepared. “While many trades will work through winter, there are certain processes that cannot be completed during heavy snowfall or dramatically low temperatures,” Luke Sahlani, the lead project manager and director of Sensus Design & Build, told realtor.com®. “This can be frustrating and particularly problematic if the home buyers’ closing date on their current home is coming up quickly.”
Making lowball offers.
Don’t assume you can always score a discount just because it’s the winter months, when the real estate market tends to slow. “A lot of buyers assume they can get a better deal in the winter because [fewer] people are competing,” Brison says. “That’s not usually the case. Inventory is lower, so the number of people who are competing is smaller.”