In a normal year, winter tends to be a buyer-friendly season; because fewer people want to buy in the winter, it can be easier for prospective buyers to find the right property at the right price.
But this year is anything but normal. This winter, low inventory and high competition are driving up prices and pushing the market increasingly in favor of the sellers—and if you want to successfully buy property, you need to take a different approach than you would in past winter seasons.
A recent article from realtor.com outlined strategies buyers will need to successfully navigate the market this winter, including:
- Make pre-approval a non-negotiable. If you’re planning on buying a house this winter (and are planning to finance the purchase), you need to be ready to make a move as soon as you find the right property—and that means getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking. While getting pre-approval is always an important step in the home-buying process, it’s especially important now, when competition for properties is so high.
- Make an offer quickly. Again, homes are selling quickly—so if you find a home you love, don’t hesitate on making an offer. Otherwise, it’s likely another buyer will submit an offer first—and you could lose out on the property.
- Make your offer stand out. Many sellers are fielding multiple offers—so anything you can do to make your offer stand out can help increase the chances of it being accepted. Things like making a cash offer (if you can afford it), or waiving the inspection, can help make your offer more attractive to sellers—and help you successfully buy your home.
Bottom line? Buying a home this winter is a different experience from the “normal” winter buying experience. But you can still successfully navigate the market, find, and buy your dream home; it just takes a slightly different approach.