If you find yourself buying a home in February, you’re in the minority. However, that can work for your benefit. Discover the five things you need to know if you’re buying a home in February, including how to get the best deal!
Are you considering buying a home in the winter? February can be a great time to buy a home in some areas of the country, but it’s generally cold and snowy in most of the U.S.
You may be buying a home in February because you live in a desert region, because you’ve been relocated for work, or for a variety of other reasons. Depending on your specific market, you may be able to get a good deal but you may not find very many homes to choose from.
Here’s what you need to know when buying a home in February.
February is a Great Time to Buy in the Southwest
January and February tend to have a surge of buying activity in the desert states of Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. A lot of snowbirds head down to that area during the winter, and as the season comes to an end people don’t want to go home.
Take Phoenix, for instance. There is generally a surge in home buying in January due to corporate hiring, and another surge in mid-February as snowbirds decide to stay permanently. Then things hold pretty steady between March — July before dropping off.
February is an Amazing Time for Bargains in Other Areas
Outside of those states in the Southwest, February is a slower buying season. However, it can be a great time to get a deal on a home. February offers an average of a 6.1% discount on home prices, the highest discount throughout the year.
People who are selling in the winter are often highly motivated to sell. Anyone whose home is available in February could have waited a couple of months until the more-favorable spring season. If they don’t, there’s a reason they need to sell quickly.
That means there’s a good chance that if you come in with a reasonable offer, it will be accepted. This gives you a chance to get a good home at an incredible price.
Winter Helps You See How a Home Hold Up in Bad Weather
Any home can look and feel amazing in the mild weather of spring or early summer. How it really fares, however, will come out in the winter. Except in the Southwest, the winter brings the harshest weather that area will experience.
Maybe that’s significant rain. Maybe it’s snow and ice. Regardless, you want to see how the new home will hold up in the harshest weather your market has to offer. To do that, tour it in February! You’ll discover if there are leaks, problems with the HVAC, or any of a variety of other issues.
There’s Less Competition in Winter
Have you ever found the home you know you’ll love, only to put in an offer and be pushed out by a higher offer? Maybe you didn’t even get a chance — in the seller’s market that is encompassing most of the country, homes are sold almost as soon as they hit the market.
Not in the winter, though. In February there are fewer folks looking to buy a home, so you won’t have problems with a home being sold out from under you. You also won’t have to face bidding wars. You can be more selective and take more time making sure a home is right for you before you pull the trigger.
January and February account for only 12% of home sales in a year. That means there are fewer homes, but it also means you’ll have a lot fewer other buyers that you’ll have to outbid.
For the Best Experience Get a Help From a Real Estate Agent
No matter when you buy a home, you’ll want help from a professional real estate agent. A high-quality buyer’s agent will help you find the right home at the right price, no matter what time of year it is. It especially important in a low-inventory month like February.
Can’t you do it alone? Not if you want the best deal. Seller’s agents are savvy and know that you aren’t a skilled negotiator. What’s more, having a realtor helping you can mean better legal protection. There are a variety of clauses and conditions that should be present in a buying contract, and if you don’t have a professional by your side, it’s too easy to be taken advantage of.
Working with a buyer’s agent doesn’t have to mean an expensive experience. In fact, when you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you’ll get an added bonus. In addition to experienced local service, you may be able to get a cash rebate of $1,000.
Use the money toward your down payment, closing costs, or to simply keep for yourself. No matter how you use your rebate, you’ll be glad you had the full-service local help you needed to find your dream home!