Scoring Deals During a Slow Real Estate Season

slow real estate seasonThere are periods when the global financial situation influences the real estate business to a great extent, but even in the best and most stable years from the financial point of view, you can count on a slow real estate season when business is narrower than usual.

We are talking about the holiday season, when people are much more focused on spending their money on presents and spending their time with family and friends. Naturally, when there’s no demand, the supply suffers, which is why everyone in the real estate business dreads holiday seasons.

This can be turned into an advantage by a savvy buyer, if they apply some of the tips presented here. Nobody can guarantee that they will result in an amazing deal, but they most certainly improve your chances of striking it.

Be cool while negotiating

All those who believe or know they have the upper hand in a deal are bound to welcome the negotiation process with open arms. For example, buyers are in a much better position than sellers in the winter, which suggests that those who put up their home for sale in that period are probably in financial difficulties and, thus, more likely to negotiate.

Real estate agents know that sellers who are on the market in that period are usually ready to accept a lower offer, rather than carry a home through the off-season. It’s clear that buyers can and should feel quite confident entering the negotiations in this situation, but if you are uncertain about any financial aspect of the deal, feel free to seek investment property advice from seasoned professionals.

Show of intent

You can expect general interest and open-house attendance to be quite low during the off-season, which means you won’t face great competition if you wish to make an offer. Sometimes all you need to do is show interest and make an offer, even if it takes making a journey in heavy rain or snow.

However, you need to be able to realize the potential of the home you’re interested in through heaps of snow and without any flowers improving the curb appeal. The fact that the driveway has not been cleaned might suggest that the owner is so tired of looking after the home that they are ready to sell it for a much lower price.

Bargaining helps

Even though you might have the advantage, it still doesn’t mean that the seller will accept just anything you throw their way. Offering under 95% of the home’s realistic price would probably be seen as insulting and the seller might refuse any further negotiations. On the other hand, offering around 97% will definitely present you as a serious buyer.

Remember, even a small difference in price can mean a lot to you, but you can also agree on perks, such as indoor or garden furniture, especially if the seller is reluctant to move them along with other items.

Need for speed

If you want to increase your chances of having the deal done, you should offer quick inspections and appraisals, so that you get that obstacle out of your way as soon as possible. Using a slow season for this is ideal since there is much less work for inspectors and appraisers.

The problem you might have, though, is that the people you need to hire might be on holiday, since they don’t count on many activities taking place during this period. So, make sure you check the availability of experts you need before making any promises.

Flexibility and timing might be the key

If you make a deal in winter, but agree to move in a bit later, when the cold temperatures are gone, you’ll significantly increase your chances of landing the property you like. This could be one of the elements of your offer that can affect the price. The seller would most certainly appreciate your readiness to wait a bit longer, which means they could be ready to lower their asking price and get you closer to a deal you’d be happy with.

Final remarks

Although there are good reasons why some parts of the year are less popular in the real estate business, they also open some windows of opportunity that some prospective buyers might be able to use.

If you are one of them, make sure you follow these tips in your attempt to secure a deal for your new home, even when most other people are preoccupied with fun and relaxation.


For more information on scoring the best deals during the holiday season, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.


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