Winter in Michigan often results in a slowdown of the real estate market. The reality is home buyers simply aren’t as motivated to go house hunting when the winter comes around and the curb appeal of homes for sale isn’t as strong with a few inches of snow covering much of the home or yard. But depending on your circumstances, winter might be the perfect time to buy.
The truth is, there are pros and cons to buying a home at any point during the year, but there are some compelling advantages to buying in the winter months. But before we talk about why buying in winter is a great idea, first things first. Whether you’re ready to buy or not, you need to do is speak with a mortgage advisor to get a handle on your home buying power.
Once you have your preapproval, now you can take advantage of all the benefits of buying in winter.
Less Competition for Buyers
There are simply fewer home buyers during the winter months in Michigan. The reason for is two fold:
- Even those looking to buy are less motivated to go house hunting in the cold and snow.
- Few home buyers want to move in the winter for obvious reasons.
With this being said, you might be able to find a gem of a home and put in an offer with very little competition from other home buyers. With fewer offers and competition, home buyers are in a much stronger position during the negotiations of the transaction.
Because real estate agents understand that there are fewer home buyers in the winter, they often advise sellers not to list at that time. Reason being the buyers that are in the market have a much stronger negotiating power because there are less of them. Buyers are in a great position to negotiate on everything from the price to closing costs to the terms of the purchase.
That being said, if someone keeps the house on the market in the winter months, they are likely much more motivated to sell. Whatever the personal circumstances of the seller, typically houses that are on the market in the winter are vacant or the homeowner is in a hurry to sell. This again, is great for the home buyer.
Better Home Prices
Real estate is often a simple function of supply and demand. With high demand and a limited supply, home sellers have the ability to list homes at higher rates. In the winter, the opposite happens. Because there are fewer home buyers in winter, sellers may bring prices down to attract interest from what little demand there is. Again, those who are listing during the winter are motivated to sell and will make pricing changes that give them the best chance to do that. This is why home buyers in winter typically enjoy lower home prices.
Undivided Attention from Agents
While any good real estate agent will give you the attention and service you need, with fewer home buyers and transactions to manage in the winter, that level of service is even better. Your agent will likely have more openings and time available to help you with home showings which will make the process of purchasing a home much quicker than if they were swamped in the spring and summer months. Again, your agent should offer this kind of attention regardless of time of year, but the winter slow down simply improves their ability to help you.
All in all, the winter is a great time to buy. However, if you prefer to wait until there are more homes for sale in the spring and summer, the winter is still a great time to get your finances in order. If you’re looking to buy in the spring, you need to get prepared so that you can have your mortgage preapproval ready to go when you’re ready to buy. This will make the process much more straight-forward and enjoyable, and your agent will appreciate that you’re a serious buyer.