According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales rose strongly in September.
But the winter and holiday months are typically a slower time of year for real estate.
That can work to the buyerâ€™s advantage, though.
Fewer real estate transactions can translate to less competition, more motivated sellers, quicker mortgage approval, plus other advantages.
Following are five reasons this holiday season could be the ideal time to buy a home.Click to see today's rates (Mar 24th, 2017)
The winter months come with less-than-favorable weather conditions for would-be home buyers.
That means fewer people are looking to purchase homes, and less buyer competition.
That minimizes multiple offer situations and bidding wars, as was seen earlier this year.
There are still plenty of homes on the market but less buyers vying for them.
Lower demand could equate to better bargains and more negotiating leverage for buyers.Click to see today's rates (Mar 24th, 2017)
Most homeowners would prefer to spend this time of year giving thanks, spending time with family and friends and gift-giving, as opposed to trying to sell their home.
As such, holiday home sellers are serious. They are inclined to negotiate.Â Sellers are usually more flexible in areas such as price and closing costs.
Sellers can make other concessions, too, to get their home sold. They may leave items behind. The riding lawn mower in the garage could be yours.
Be cautious, though, when home buying in the winter.
Sellers will â€śstageâ€ť their homes to sell. Itâ€™s easy to let your emotions take over, imagining yourself opening Christmas presents in a tastefully decorated home.
But donâ€™t overpay. Studies show that staged homes sell 73% faster. Make sure youâ€™re buying the home, not the feeling.
Traditionally, the holiday months tend to be slower ones for mortgage lenders.
Slower business isnâ€™t a good thing for the lender, but can be great for the home buyer.
Lenders have an extra incentive to get loans closed quickly and offer exceptional levels of service.
Fewer loans could result in quicker approval times. A quick closing could help you negotiate a better deal on the home youâ€™re buying.Click to see today's rates (Mar 24th, 2017)
One of the biggest reasons that many buyers make the leap from renting to buying is for the tax benefits.
If you wait until January to buy, you won't realize the tax advantages until the following year.
Closing by December 31 can mean tax benefits for home buyers, likeÂ deductions forÂ mortgage interest, property taxes and some closing costs.
Always consult a tax adviser before filing, but these deductions can be significant for homeowners, especially in the beginningÂ months of your mortgage.
Home prices are typically at 12-month lows in December. Lower home prices mean buyers can purchase more home for less.
As mentioned earlier, holiday home sellers are generally more serious about getting their homes sold.
Sellers typically know that the winter months arenâ€™t necessarily ideal for selling their home. As such, thereâ€™s usually a specific reason that, instead of doing some holiday shopping or attending a holiday party, theyâ€™re trying to unload their house.
Whatever the reason may be, thanks to lower-than-average home prices, the timing could be ideal for making an offer on your dream home.
The holidays are upon us. For homebuyers looking for additional holiday bargains, now may be the perfect time to get your dream home at a discount.
Take a look at todayâ€™s live mortgage rates now. Your social security number isnâ€™t required to get started, and all rate quotes come with instant access to your live mortgage credit scores.Click to see today's rates (Mar 24th, 2017)
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
Judy T. Business Owner
I read The Mortgage Reports every day.
The Mortgage Reports is invaluable. It's our primary source for information on housing finance.
Jerolyn C. CPA
The Mortgage Reports isn't just basic mortgage rate information -- it's analysis on rate changes and trends, and updates on the laws in lending. Subscribing to the site's daily updates is worthwhile.
2017 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)