In our part of the country, the real estate season begins in March and goes through roughly September. The sales figures confirm this — it’s a fact that home sales drop off steeply after that and don’t come back until the spring.
This might have something to do with the school year (parents prefer to move during the summer) and also be due to the fact that people prefer not to go out and see homes when the weather is cold and blustery. Still, if you’re willing to brave the elements and think outside the box, there could be real benefits to shopping for a home during the winter.
- Less competition. The Chicago real estate market, like many other markets around the country, has had low inventory of homes for years, leading to a “seller’s market” and increased competition among buyers. Shopping for a home during the winter will mean fewer homes on the market but also less competition for these homes.
- Lower prices. It might be hard to believe, but data shows homes are noticeably cheaper in the winter. Think about being able to save an extra 5% on a $300,000 home. The savings could be significant!
- Motivated sellers. Sellers know that wintertime isn’t the best time to sell a home, which means they likely have a good reason to have their home on the market during that time. That likely means that they’ll be more willing to accept your offer.
- More of your realtor’s time. Because sales are slower in the winter, your realtor will likely have fewer clients and will be able to devote more time to your home search.
We hope this list of benefits has made you give some thought to starting your home search a little earlier this year!