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Buying in winter with a VA Mortgage

Mar. 4, 2014 - 12:03PM   |  
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Home buyers and home sellers always want to get the best deal, right? Unless the seller of a property is facing foreclosure or some other catastrophic event to force a quick sale, the seller wants to squeeze every bit of equity out of the home as possible in order to buy a new home or put some money away for retirement or both. That’s why buyers and sellers do as much research as they can and consult with their real estate agents about timing. When is the very best time to buy or sell a home? Is there an answer to that?

Timing

It’s called “timing” and it addresses the absolute best time to sell or buy a home. For sellers, it might be during the frenzy of home buying season, which typically starts in early spring then tapers off into the fall. For buyers, it might just mean finding a home when the right one is found, regardless of the outdoor temperature. But really, is there such a thing as timing in the real estate industry?

Maybe so. If you’re a real estate investor who buys and sells property on a regular basis, then timing is certainly a factor. When flipping houses, how long it takes to sell a home after buying it is critical during the evaluation. Time indeed is money.

But for buyers and sellers timing is a difficult thing to pin down. There really is no right time to buy or sell a property but instead finding buyers and sellers who come to an agreement. That all makes sense of course but should a seller even consider selling a home during the dead of winter when the wind chill is well below freezing?

If you’re buying a house and using your VA Home Loan Benefit, in the winter might be the very best time of all. Why?

The Need to Sell

In order to get the highest price possible for a home, a seller needs as many home buyers in the market as possible. The more buyers, the more people that show up for an open house and the more showings an agent has. That’s one of the main reasons that the so-called “selling season” starts in early spring and continues through the summer. It’s easier to get out and look at real estate when the leaves are turning green and it’s a sunny 72 degrees outside. After all, who really wants to look at houses if they have to bundle up just to visit a home for sale? Those who are looking for bargains, that’s who.

Think about that for minute. Sellers know that fewer active buyers mean less demand for the house. So why doesn’t the seller wait until the temperature warms up a bit instead of putting a home up for sale when it’s 10 degrees outside? It might be because the seller really, really needs to sell. After all, the seller could be leaving several thousand dollars on the table due to the lack of buyers.

You however might in fact find the perfect property at a better than perfect price. Sellers who put up with preparing a home for sale during the dead of winter may very well be a bit more desperate compared to someone who decides to hold off and wait a while before preparing a home for market. If you’re a buyer then you should always be searching for the right home at the best price possible. And that time might very well be when it’s very, very cold outside.

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