Buyers – Use the Holidays to Your Advantage

If you are a homebuyer, there is a very advantageous time in the market that you should know about, but you need to be ready to act quickly. From mid-November until the end of the year, many buyers put their home searches on hold until after the holidays. However, there are sellers who want to get their home sold as evidenced by the fact that their home was not taken off the market for the holidays.

These sellers are serious about getting their home sold; some even have the goal of getting the home sold and closed by the end of the year, possibly for tax, timing, or psychological purposes. Buyers who want favorable terms should evaluate whether they can indeed close by year end.

Here are the five steps I recommend buyers take immediately to take advantage of this time in the market:

  1. Meet with a lender and get as much footwork done as possible for your loan up front. This could include everything from submitting tax returns, turning in paystubs, submitting bank statements and accounting for deposits, etc. Make sure all this paperwork is provided to the lender so as you are packing, there isn’t a frantic search for one piece of paper which might be buried in the boxes.
  2. Determine if the purchase of the home needs to be contingent on the sale of your current home. Of course, if you are a first time homebuyer, you don’t need to worry about this, but if you are selling a home and you need the proceeds to purchase the next home, this may not be an option. The lender will be able to let you know your options.
  3. Strategize with your broker. Sellers who had high hopes of closing by the end of the year probably put their homes on the market in summer or beginning of fall. Make sure you have looked at all the homes that meet your criteria and make an aggressive home viewing plan with your agent.
  4. Once you find the right home, write a fair offer. Take into account the benefits the seller may receive by closing quickly as well as the possible inconvenience to you that closing quickly entails. This may include a slightly lower purchase price, having the seller cover some closing costs, etc. Your agent should help you determine a fair offer.
  5. Consider a rent back period to the seller. If you and the seller want to get the home sale wrapped up by the New Year but don’t want to spend the holidays shuffling boxes, consider a rent-back to the seller. In this scenario, you are the landlord and you are renting the home back to the seller for a specified period of time.

Starting the new year in a new home may be a possibility with a bit of strategy. Please contact me to learn more: (206) 790-0081 or send an email: [email protected].