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You were preapproved for a mortgage loan, you’d already determined your wish list in a home, then suddenly summer goes by and you think the home buying season is over. Maybe you’re on the other end, and projects you intended to complete prior to putting your Virginia home on the market didn’t wrap up fast enough – and now it’s going to be a long winter stuck in place. Not so fast.

It goes against the grain that home buying and selling in a Virginia winter would be anything but pointless. Historically, spring, fall and late summer have generally been the best times to buy and sell a home. The idea is, more people list their homes for sale in the warmer months, thus providing many more options for home buyers to search, so more buyers plan to purchase. Makes sense, right?

But the numbers don’t lie.

According to an oft-cited study by Redfin Research, two years of data showed that the winter months – namely December 21-March 20 – were actually more beneficial for home buyers and sellers. Homes sold for a small but noticeably higher price, while home buyers spent less time in the search and negotiation process. Let’s break down more reasons why you shouldn’t shy away from buying or selling a home in the frigid Virginia winter.

Why Home Buyers Should Shop in Winter

– Less people shopping means less competition when buying a home.

– This means much less of a chance to get into a bidding war.

– Overall, buyers get a better idea of a how a house holds up when the weather is at its worst, specifically heating, plumbing, roof and gutters.

– It’s easier to think in terms of maintaining an icy driveway, pathway or deck.

– Some homeowners are willing to concede on price and terms, in order to please scant buyers.

– But many sellers are already putting houses on the market with a price intended to sell, so buyers are less likely to go through long negotiations.

– Sellers are motivated by tax purposes, so are more eager to get their home sold prior to the warmer months.Your realtor will have more time on their hands to find you exactly what you want.

Why Homeowners Should Sell in Winter

– Home buyers are much more serious shoppers, not interested in window shopping but have intent to buy.

– This, and other reasons such as job relocations, make these buyers much more motivated.

– There are less properties on the market, particularly less new properties, so sellers of older homes have a better chance of getting at or above listing price.

– Studies show that homes listed in winter stay on the market at least a week less than the normal shopping season.

– They also have around a 10 percent better chance of selling within six months.

– Mortgage rates typically increase after winter, so selling prior will save both parties money.

– February in particular is a great month to list, with about two-thirds of homes listed selling within three months.

It’s true that most buyers looking in winter months are doing so out of need rather than desire. Job relocations occur very frequently in the early months of the year, leaving buyers with little time to shop. This requires that sellers accommodate inconvenient or sudden showings – but it benefits both in the end.

If you’re warming up to winter home shopping, get the process started now by looking at your home loan options at First Mortgage in Virginia. We can help you get an idea of costs and timelines, so you’re prepared to make an offer when you find the perfect place for you!

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