Forget the Holidays, It’s Time to Buy
It’s that time of year again – the holidays. For many, the holidays can be a big turn off from the idea of buying or selling a house. But the surprising reality is that the holidays are actually the perfect time to buy a house.
Here’s five surprising reasons why right now is the right time to buy real estate in Spokane:
1. “Days on Market” is increasing. As many people are waiting for January to buy, homes are sitting on the market longer. The factors that cause people to sell their homes don’t change much over the course of the year, such as moving out of town, needing a bigger space to accommodate a growing family, needing to downsize, or relocating for a job transfer.
This means that people continue to list their homes year-round, and typically need to sell in a timely manner. But buyers have a big benefit here – there aren’t as many competing buyers in the market! This lack of competition tends to drive the number of days that a home has been listed (known as the Days on Market), upwards. This has a cascading beneficial effect for buyers, as you’ll see in the next few points.
2. List-price offers are more attractive. The increase in the Days on Market and the decrease in buyer competition has a direct effect on the offer that you, as a buyer, will submit. Prices are currently holding stable in Spokane, but you could get a better price out the door now, than you might get in January. In a buyer-competitive market (which usually begins in January and is known as a sellers’ market), buyers may be forced to over-bid (to bid over the asking price) just to have their offer considered.
In a market with little-to-no buyer competition like we have from now until early January, buyers can offer at list price with a higher likelihood of having their offer accepted. For buyers this means that even if prices remain stable or slightly increase, you may end up paying less now than during a high competition season.
3. Sellers are more receptive to negotiations. The holiday season is the perfect time to ask for what you want. As Days on Market go up and motivation to sell increases, your leverage as a buyer typically increases, too.
It is a common part of every transaction to ask for what you want as a buyer, especially for things like repairs, upgrades, and concessions. The advantage you have during the holiday season is that sellers are more likely to agree to your requests. You’re also less likely to have another buyer competing against you with a more favorable (higher price, more down payment, easier financing options, or fewer requests/concessions) offer.
Take advantage of a negotiations-friendly market. Work with a real estate agent that is experienced in contracts and negotiations, who can get you the best home, for the best price, with the most favorable concessions. Carrie Meyer, leader of the Real Estate Agent Spokane team, is a Certified Legal Assistant (CLA, also known as a Paralegal) with over 30 years experience in the legal field. This experience makes her an expert in real estate contracts and negotiations.
4. Inventory in Spokane is up. The September stats released by the Spokane Association of Realtors (SAR) shows that inventory is up in Spokane. “Inventory” refers to the number of homes listed for sale at any given time, and can (and does) fluctuate over the course of the year.
As a buyer, this is great news! Not only do you have favorable buying conditions, you’ve also got a wide selection of homes on the market to choose from. The SAR also notes that the number of “distressed homes” for sale is down. “Distressed homes” are homes that are for sale as the result of a foreclosure or similar event. A low number of distressed homes on the market can be viewed as a positive indicator of the area and the overall market health.
5. Avoid the feeding frenzy. In January, the real estate market generally experiences a dramatic increase in activity. As a buyer, increased activity means more competition from other buyers, more offers on the house you’re interested in, and less incentive for sellers to grant concessions.
In short, when competition goes up, your leverage goes down. If you’re looking to negotiate repairs, upgrades, and price, you’ll want to act now rather than in January.
Real Estate Agents in Spokane
It’s a great time to buy a home in Spokane! If it’s time to go from renter to owner – or just time for something new, we’d love to help you find the perfect space. Whether you’re looking for walkability, great food choices, or the best schools, we can help you find the perfect spot! Contact the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team today to set up a custom search and learn more about Spokane’s diverse land and housing offerings.
Carrie Meyer, leader of the Real Estate Agent Spokane team, is passionate about Spokane, its history, and your future. She specializes in relocation transactions, and helps locals find their perfect home. Carrie has over 30 years’ experience as a Certified Legal Assistant (paralegal) and is an expert at contracts and negotiations.