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“the winter season does present opportunities to sellers
and buyers who are willing to deal with its challenges"

How to Survive the Winter Real Estate Market

No time of year is more challenging for the real estate market in the Northeastern United States than winter, when cold temperatures, difficult conditions and lack of sunlight offer plenty of reasons to discourage buyers and sellers. On the other hand, while many people avoid real estate transactions in the winter, a select few may find the season offers the most opportune time to make a deal. No matter which category you fit into, no doubt winter is the ideal season for buyers and sellers to prepare for spring, the optimal real estate season.

When summer vacations end, the real estate market typically sees a bump in the fall, followed by a drop-off as the major winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas loom. In addition to being more family and indoor focused, the winter offers challenges for the real estate market in terms of harsh weather conditions like snow and sleet. Imagine trying to create curb appeal to attract buyers when freezing rains and howling winds commonly occur. Couple the barren trees and brown lawns with many less hours of daylight, and winter simply offers far fewer opportunities to make a good impression.

However, given all the winter complications, the season does present opportunities to sellers and buyers who are willing to deal with the challenges. In general, only the most serious parties will pursue a deal through the unpleasant winter time, which means that buyers can feel confident a winter seller will likely be open to negotiation on price. Perhaps the seller absolutely needs to move because of a new baby or a job change. And sellers can feel confident that winter buyers present a strong prospect. After all, anyone who shops for a home in a snowstorm is interested in buying, not browsing.

For most people, however, winter represents a better time for preparing to put a home on the market or to look for a purchase in the spring. From the buyer’s perspective, the slower winter market offers an excellent time to determine exactly how much they can afford to spend and what kind of home they want, whether the most important criteria are size, location, features, educational system, or any number of important factors that influence the system. Also, the winter is season during which a buyer should get pre-qualified for a loan, which will make them look serious to sellers when the market picks up in the spring and help expedite the right deal.

During the winter, prospective sellers should take the time to interview and hire a respected real estate agent, someone who can represent them to buyers and ease the day-to-day burdens of the sale process when the spring arrives. Sellers should also prepare their home for sale during the winter. Winter can be used to complete indoor repairs and make updates like installing new carpeting or flooring if things look worn. Use the time to get ready to make the best impression once warmer weather arrives.

A select few buyers and sellers may find that winter offers the opportune time to complete a home transaction, but for the vast majority of the population, winter is best used as a time to prepare for the more desirable spring season. Whatever you do, do not let the cold weather lull you into doing nothing. Use the time wisely to consider your options and formulate a plan.
 

RE/MAX of Tenafly

                    RE/MAX Associates lead agents
                     of competing companies in
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About Orly Chen

  Orly Chen is a leading
Tenafly real estate agent
in Northern New Jersey
specializing in the Bergen
County area. Her
outgoing personality,
honesty and
approachability and
integrity make Orly
one of the most sought-
after agents in the
Northern New Jersey
real estate market

Read more...
 
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