Have you ever put an offer in on a property only to be told there are multiple offers on it already? Ever show up to an appointment to see a listing and see another prospective buyer already there looking at it? These are some of the more common experiences buyers face when buying during the traditional “buyer season” that starts in mid-to-late March and ends around September. Competing with other buyers can be stressful and, ultimately, can end up costing you more for a property. If you want to avoid a lot of these typical obstacles that come up during “buyer season” then perhaps you should consider buying in the Winter, when only the strong brave the weather to come see properties for sale. Here are some of the advantages you may capitalize on if you are considering purchasing property during Winter.
Here are a few of the advantages to purchasing property in the Winter:
While touring properties in the Poconos during Winter you are much less likely to run into other prospective buyers and also much less likely to get tangled up in a multiple offer situation. With less buyers overall touring property, there are less people to compete with for the property that you like. This isn’t 100% fool-proof though as there will always be the TLC Handyman’s Special or the Listed So Low It Must Go Special that hits the market or is on the market and sees a drastic price reduction – these types of deals can bring buyers out of the woodwork all shouting, “Take My Money!” But generally speaking there is a lot less action in the Winter time for various reasons (Holiday Season travel/purchases, weather restricting leisurely travel, etc).
More Leverage in Negotiation
In a lot of cases it is easier to negotiate more favorable terms as a buyer in the Winter. A few contributing factors to look for to help determine how much leverage you have are whether or not the home is leftover from the Summer market (see also: Days on Market) and whether or not the house sees use as a rental or vacation home during the Winter (some people Winter in the Poconos solely to be close to slopes, others rent their property to tourists for the same reason). If a property is not in use by the owner for any purpose, then it is merely costing money. It costs money to heat, it costs money to maintain, it costs money to keep the driveway plowed after snowstorms so that prospective buyers can access it. All of these factors give a bit of leverage to the buyer because any homeowner serious about selling who is listed in the Winter would be satisfied to unload the property at all – sometimes at a discount or bending to more buyer-friendly terms just to get to the closing table and have it off their hands.
Seeing The Property As It Really Is
One thing that is a clear advantage in the Winter that often gets overlooked is seeing the property at its most bare. When all the leaves are down in the dead of winter, how much privacy does the property REALLY have? One of the biggest draws to buying in the Poconos is for people to escape the daily rat race and relax in a secluded and peaceful environment – but sometimes that secluded environment looks much different from the full vegetation of Summer to the evergreen-only vegetation of Winter. As a local expert I try to keep that in the minds of buyer that I work with during the traditional “buyer season” – look at these trees and imagine the ones with leaves having no leaves. It is sometimes hard to get a true picture of what Winter will look like when buying any other time of year – making this a true advantage of touring properties that are for sale in Winter.
Whether you are planning to buy soon, later, or much later, it is always helpful to keep an eye on the market you are looking to purchase in – here is what the market looks like in Pocono Lake, Blakeslee, and Thornhurst right now!