Real Estate Investors: A Holiday Home Buying Guide

Holiday home buying concept

You’ve heard of holiday gift buying guides. Why not a home buying guide for real estate investors looking to do business during this time of year? Real estate markets across the country tend to slow down during the winter months, especially during the holiday season. Though there may be fewer properties available right now, the market conditions can present a great opportunity for home buyers—especially if you are willing and able to pay cash.

Understand Seller Motivation

The first thing to keep in mind is why anyone would be selling their house during the slow winter market. They know it might now draw as much buyer attention during the holidays, but they are listing it anyway. For some home sellers, this is simply the best time for them to make a move. They may be buying a new house and ready to move in at the beginning of the year. There may be other reasons why this is a good time to sell and move on from their current property.

Then, there are many other home sellers in the winter who are in a more urgent position to sell. They want or need to sell their house as soon as possible. They may be dealing with financial distress, a divorce, a job relocation, an unwanted inherited property, or some other reason. They are motivated sellers and a fast cash sale could be the perfect solution for them. This is where savvy real estate investors can take advantage of holiday market conditions and find great properties to purchase.

Research the Property

Whether the house is publicly listed on the MLS or you find out about the seller/property through other sources, it never hurts to do your research. See how long the house has been on the market. Talk with the owner to understand their situation and why they are selling right now. Run detailed property analytics to see if the juice is worth the squeeze. If the numbers all add up for a good investment and the homeowner is willing to listen to a cash offer, then you can make an offer. They may feel it’s fair and depending on their selling motivation and urgency, be ready to accept and close quickly.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy Houses?

There may not be as many properties available this time of year, and not all of them present good investment opportunities. However, buyer competition is likely down during the holiday season. It may be your chance to make a move and find something great while the market is slower. Just make sure to do your research and crunch the numbers to find the best home buying situations.

Buying a house before the end of the year can also provide some great tax benefits. In addition, you can position yourself with a nice investment property to start the new year. Get your renovation plan and budget figured out and perhaps get the house ready to flip or rent out by the time the hot spring and summer markets roll around!

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