Traditionally, we think of spring and summer as the best seasons for buying or selling a house. But these past several months keep testing tradition. As we enter into winter holidays, house sales keep inching up, mortgage rates are hovering at 3.5%, and the housing market is as busy as ever. Several homeowners are continuing to relocate for work, committing to work remotely, or they’re embracing a new lifestyle that embodies freedom and balance.
Steps to Buying or Selling a Home During the Holiday Season
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the holiday season often has more urgency and a different set of buyers looking to engage. Both buyers and sellers will want a fast close so that work and school schedules stay on track, and holiday traditions aren’t disrupted.
Know the current value of homes in your area
Do your own research to find out how much your home is worth. Discuss the value of comparable homes in the area with a qualified real estate agent. If you’re moving to a new area and looking to buy, work with a local realtor who knows the neighborhoods and school districts in the surrounding area.
When it’s time for a formal appraisal, you’ll know what to expect and what’s fair.
Partner with the right real estate professional
Whether you’re buying or selling, be sure to work with a listing agent that has a long history in your specific neighborhood. A qualified realtor knows the history of the area, the nuances of each neighborhood and will have longstanding relationships with a network of realtors. Strong business partnerships will lead to better negotiations and a smooth transaction when it’s time to make an offer and enter escrow.
Make quick decisions on updates or repairs
Buying or selling during the holidays can be difficult if you’ve got a lot of work that needs to be done for the house in question. Contractors, painters, landscapers, stagers — everyone’s schedule is tighter than usual.
For this reason, if you’re buying a home that needs a lot of work, take this into consideration and be willing to start the work yourself or wait a few months. If you’re selling, be ready to negotiate with your buyers to see where they’ll be willing to compromise. It might prove difficult to complete repairs or upgrades in a short period of time.
Start your mortgage application right away (and close fast)
If you’re buying or selling during the holidays and moving to a new area, getting pre-approved for your next mortgage is always a smart move. Getting pre-approved will secure your financing and protect you so your financing doesn’t fall through. For sellers, consider the buyers who are pre-approved (not just prequalified). You can be certain that their loan will fund and escrow will move quickly.
Yes, you can start your application for your next mortgage before you’ve decided on a property. We can help get the process started to make sure all the documentation is in order. Buying a house during the holiday season can be stressful enough without worrying about whether or not your loan will fund on time.
Working with an experienced mortgage broker can help you close fast during the holidays on your dream house. We work with clients at every stage of homeownership, and we partner with mortgage lenders across California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Applying for a mortgage can be fast and easy, and we can help you navigate your best loan options. Our goal is to get you the best mortgage and save you money along the way. Give us a call to get started.