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  • Writer's pictureBrian L. Wasson

Holiday Homebuyers' Advantage

Updated: Dec 16, 2017

Lack of competition is certainly one of the biggest advantages for buyers shopping for a home around the holidays. Nobody likes competing with multiple offers, which adds stress and increases the likelihood that you'll need to pay more or loosen your contract terms. There are plenty of other reasons to shop for a new home around the holidays that buyers should consider.

Yes, November/December is a less common time for sellers to list their home. But if those September/October listings are still sitting on the market after Thanksgiving weekend, you can imagine that those sellers are starting to feel anxious. The sense of desperation that these sellers are probably feeling as the winter holidays approach can give buyers a negotiating advantage and help them score a great deal on their new home.

There are some other big reasons that a seller may be looking to seal up their deal by the end of the year. Maybe they incurred a loss this year as an investment property and want to sell it this year for tax purposes. Maybe their promotion at work goes into effect at the start of the new year, and they'll be subject to a higher capital gains tax on their home sale if they sell during the following calendar year. Or maybe they're relocating for a new career in January (a common month for relocation) and need to sell their home ASAP so they can buy a home in their new city. There are plenty of reasons why the end of December is a common "deadline" that sellers set for wanting to complete their home sale.

In areas with winter climates like Chicago, touring homes during the cold months can have big benefits for buyers. For example, maybe there's a bedroom in the home that

doesn't seem to get sufficient heat. Or maybe the front door gets jammed in icy conditions. If a buyer was touring the home during the spring, there may be no way of knowing any of this until after the sale was complete. Inspectors are less likely to catch these out-of-season issues with the home.

A severe winter weather pattern can often keep potential buyers at home and make sellers want to accelerate their exit. If you can see beyond leafless/icy landscapes and diminished daylight and brave the colder temperatures to get out there and see what other buyers might have missed, you could get a home that exceeds your needs at a good value.

If you're looking to buy during the holidays in the Chicago area, and can't seem to find a house for sale that meets your criteria, turn that challenge over to me as your buyer's agent. I can locate sellers who might have taken their property off the market for the winter; or I can contact owners of properties that meet your criteria who just haven't previously considered selling.

Feel free to email me at for additional questions. I'm a real estate broker with Center Coast Realty in Chicago, working primarily with residential buyers and sellers. #chicagorealestate #centercoastrealty #holidayhomebuying #holiday #homebuyer #chicago #primedwell

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