Typically winter months have a higher number of housing bargains due to stressful weather conditions and lack of competition, with February coming out on top as the month with the most housing deals.
In fact, a recent study by Attom Data Solutions looked at the sales of 50 million homes from 2000 through 2016 and found that the median selling price during February was around $104 per square foot, a 6 percent discount over the rest of the months of the year.
With these housing bargains, why aren't more people buying this time of year? According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, besides the difficult winter weather, many potential buyers are cash-strapped after the holidays and don't want move during the middle of the school year.
Sellers in the winter months are also willing to make a deal. “It’s a buyer’s market during the colder winter months,” says NAR President William E. Brown. “When sellers list in the winter, they know it’s slower, so they’re more motivated and more willing to negotiate.”
If your buyers aren't quite ready, let them know that March and April are also good months for bargains, boasting discounts of 4 percent and 2 percent over the annualized median price of $110 per square foot.
As a homeseller, the buyers in the market are often more motivated. This can translate to buyers being less particular and more committed to the idea of purchasing a home rather than waiting for the “perfect” home. In spring, when many homes are coming on the market, the seller’s home may get lost in the traffic jam.
As new inventory continuously appears, buyers may be distracted in waiting until something better comes along, and not feel enough urgency to commit.
The benefits for buyers in the off season can go the same way — because sellers are also more motivated.
Sellers choosing to go or remain on the market in the slower seasons are usually “real sellers.” Rather than being on the market to test the waters, these sellers are responsive to market forces and willing to negotiate. And with less competition, a buyer’s offer is more likely to stand out and be considered.
Finding a ride during peak rush hour can be challenging, which is why Uber or Lyft have surcharges when demand outpaces supply.
Buyers and sellers can apply that to real estate: Ancillary services such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and settlement companies, attorneys and representatives are more available during the offseason.
The season can also affect the contract-to-settlement process. True professionals should rise to the occasion and meet heightened demand, but there is more time and space available during the offseason.
Team Leader, The Tonnesen Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada
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