Kyle Uchitel Guest Post on Real Estate
Buying real estate in the winter presents buyers with a host of difficult challenges. Few sellers market their properties in the winter time, so the pool of potential housing options is low. Additionally, winter weather presents many obstacles when it comes to properly examining real estate to make sure the buyer gets a sound purchase. The following is a guest post by Phoenix area entrepreneur Kyle Uchitel. Kyle Uchitel is a co-founder of Avky Inc.
Understand Buying Motivations
Before beginning the search for a home or even a real estate agent, buyers should be clear that they have opted to shop during this time. Is it relocation, a move to a better market, or simply the hope of finding a good deal from a desperate seller? Sellers face a host of disadvantages when selling in the winter, so a patient buyer has the clear upper hand. However, buyers looking to relocate because of work issues might face time pressure and need a safe place to move their family quickly. This time pressure and lack of information about a new location puts them at a disadvantage when buying a new home.
Winter Real Estate Buying Strategies
With a good understanding of their motivation, buyers should set out to be tough, fair and serious. Many wintertime sellers put their homes on the market because they have to. The few homes that are available should be looked at with care. Potential sellers facing foreclosure or needing to move in a hurry might defer maintenance. Additionally, many items that would be obvious to the naked eye in the summer are covered in snow or other debris during the winter. All of this should be factored into the asking price.
Patient buyers should take a tough negotiation stance and maximize their concessions. Suggest that the seller pay closing costs, offer financing or even agree to leave some key furnishing items behind. Buyers looking to relocate should do thorough market research, including visiting the neighborhood and home during the day and the evening. Additionally, speaking with neighbors can help buyers understand the care and quality of their potential purchase.
Winter Real Estate Due Diligence
Buyers must do due diligence for their future home more in the wintertime than the summer. Even if the roof is completely covered in snow; buyers should do their best to look at the quality. Ask sellers for receipts for work that has been done over the past five years. If possible, ask the seller to transfer any warranties or guaranties into the buyer’s name.
Buyers also need to thoroughly check the foundation and the base of the home. Even though this will often be covered in snow, it will be important to see if the house is settling properly and to note any cracks in the foundation. Do not neglect the big ticket items. No amount of concessions will pay for a new roof or foundation work that needs to be done.
Buying real estate in the winter can be smart if a buyer does good due diligence. Sellers often need to sell quickly, so buyers should take advantage of their strategic position to get the best price.
Kyle Uchitel can be reached via Twitter at @kyleuchitel.