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Chicago Snow and Real Estate Buyers

Chicago Snow and Real Estate Buyers - Jean Ward - Chicago Lake CondosEveryone told you that summer and fall was the best time to buy, but you just weren’t ready. So here you are in January, schlepping from property to property in the snow and ice with temps in the teens. Have you lost your mind? Absolutely not.  Winter can be a fabulous time to buy a home or investment property. Here’s what you need to know.

Consider the property from all angles

When you view properties in the winter, you need to not get sucked into the quaintness of the property you’re viewing through the lightly falling snow. While it’s great to see into the winter looking glass of a home, as honestly, many folks hunker down in their homes much more during the cold season, and you want to know what you’d be signing up for in terms of a hibernation station, you have to consider what each home would look like aesthetically in the non-winter months. Snow often masks damage such as cracks and discoloration in the exterior and roof of the home, as well as the roads and sidewalks. It also covers dead or unkempt landscaping and rubbish. What seems like a quiet, bright street today because of the packed snow on the ground, can actually be one alive with activity in the spring, summer, and fall, so be sure to do your due diligence. The cold temps will most likely keep you from testing or inspecting the air conditioning unit(s).

Inventory

There’s typically not as much of a selection of properties today as you may have had during the height of the selling season. Inventory is definitely low as a majority of owners want to transfer a sale and move, if necessary, either over the summer or at least during the warmer months of the year. But the properties that are on the market are primed and ready for offers, as most likely a sale is needed, as opposed to wanted in these situations, as who would want prospective buyers with wet snow boots trampling through their home unless it’s absolutely necessary?

Negotiating Power

Your bargaining hand can be stronger in these dreadful winter months, as owners want to move the properties, as typically there is not as much traffic viewing each listing. Because of this, you may be able to include slightly higher priced homes in your search than you would in the typical selling season. This being said, always remember that super low-ball offers can easily offend emotional sellers, thereby negating a potential sale. Keep your wits about you and study your agent’s free tools, such as comparative market analyses, current and historical supply and demand data, as well as agent professional experience and advice, to hone in on a current market value if you’re seriously interested in a property. If your urgency is high to buy, stay close to the market value when submitting an offer to incentivize a sale. If you have no real urgency, preference to specific neighborhoods, property types or details, or if you have a reduced budget, take the time to test the waters in regards to offer elements.

While it may not be as fun trekking from home to home in the snow, you can definitely grab a new perspective, consider properties you may not have been able to afford in the heart of the busy season, and potentially negotiate a better sales price. So if you’re in the market to buy, lose the CuddleDuds and get out into the elements to do some serious home shopping. I’ll be happy to help in every step along the way! Contact me now.

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