Friday, September 21, 2012

Buying or Selling a home in the Fall or Winter

If you're buying or selling a home and the end of the spring-summer real estate season is stressing you out, relax.  Even though real estate sales do fall off at the end of warm weather, there's still plenty of buying and selling coming this fall and winter.
Remember, sales volume is not your problem. The only house you care about is the one you're selling or hoping to buy. What's more, many home buyers and sellers are bucking the seasonal nature of residential real estate. They're finding that buying or selling Evanston houses in the fall and winter months has many advantages -- not the least of which are the gorgeous fall leaf colors and holiday decorations that showcase many homes to their fullest potential
No matter which side of the transaction you're on, you can make the off-season work to your advantage. Here's why:

  • Buyers are motivated. Many off-season Evanston buyers are more serious than some among the horde who descend like locusts on open houses in the spring. After all, there's a reason they didn't buy during the peak season. Perhaps they didn't have enough for a down payment or couldn't get financed. The fact that they've entered the market in a downtime might be very meaningful
  • There is a Second Season.  While sales definitely fall of in the early fall, they usually escalate again in October in many area.
  • Cyber Sales.  The expansion of the internet and the numbers of people who use it have added a significant off-season dimension to Evanston real estate stales.  Potential Evanston buyers now find Evanton properties for sale in the comfort of their home through a vast array of Websites, such as  Virtual tours can take them into homes an they can preview neighborhoods, schools and city information before venturing our.
  • Hindsight.  When you put up a home for sale in the fall or winter, you have the advantage of hindsight.  You and your agent can review which homes sold quickly in your area during the warm-weather "peak season."  This gives you the chance to adjust your price and terms accordingly and to make your home more marketable.
  • There's Less Competition. How many times did that darling Evanton house you had your eye on in May get bought out from under you while you and your spouse talked over making an offer the very next day.  Sellers are often pressured. Motivation is critical in any real estate situation. Find out how long the house has been on the market. If it's been hanging around awhile, there's a good chance the seller is getting antsy. Sellers frequently drop their price -- especially as Christmas draws near -- giving buyers lower down payments and closing costs. If it went on the market after the peak season ended, the seller may have a pressing reason to sell, such as a job transfer, financial problems, divorce or illness to name just a few.
  • Tax Considerations. When you buy a new home before the end of the year, you'll be able to report items such as mortgage interest, points, closing costs, property taxes and more on your tax return.
  •  Interest Rates. If you're ready to buy, waiting until next spring can spell disaster. Many experts think we've seen the end of record-low interest rates and that mortgage rates will only go up from here
  •  Beating Price Hikes. As high as the Evanston home prices may seem to you now, chances are they'll only be higher when a new real estate season starts in March.
As Evanston Real Estate agents, The Thomas Team, we hope these tips are useful as you consider buying or selling a home in Evanston. Our goal is to provide you with current real estate information and tips as you enter the Evanston Real Estate market.

If you are ready to begin the process or still have a few more questions; please contact us! We’re here to help in any way we can and we look forward to working with you!

The Thomas Team

Chicago's #1 Real Estate Brokerage

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