Most buyers have the perception that winter is the worst time to look for a new home.
However, from aesthetics and timing, to supply and demand drivers, and discounts - there are so many reasons to make the Winter the time to start your search. Here are just a few:
The Circumstances are in your Favor
Winter sellers are usually motivated by externalities that are out of their control, giving you a better chance to get a deal. Since families with children tend to purchase to coincide with September school openings, Winter buyers are often forced to sell for different reasons. Perhaps a job offer, pay cut, estate sale, or personal issues are forcing them to list their home at an inopportune time.
Winter buyers have less buyer competition in the marketplace - sellers know this so they want to be more competitive in the winter market. This also means there is a smaller chance of multiple offers on the house you want. Without the competition, you'll likely have more leverage when it comes to negotiations, as well.
Sellers are Motivated
Many Sellers who put their properties on the market in the winter really need to sell, giving Buyers more purchasing power or room for negotiating. This helps to create an instant increase in equity after closing.
Agents are Motivated
Low activity during the winter months means you will have the undivided attention of your agent or broker and they will be working harder for you. These lean months of low sales volume may encourage them to try just a bit harder to negotiate a sale.
If the home will require construction, or you need to be flexible on closing, this is probably the time to make the offer. Contractors are less busy during the winter which gives buyers an opportunity to get their remodeling done at a better cost in less time.
Timing the Market
Winter is a great opportunity to buy at last year's price and get a jump on the Spring market before the new "sold" stats are released early Spring/Summer.
That grey, dismal view of the naked tree outside of the window and your neighbor's outdoor space become a benefit to the savvy winter buyer who can pre visualize the tree in full bloom, birds singing and pots of flowers on the terraces.
And finally, the number one reason that Winter buyers win - discounts. More than 20% of homes in NYC that went into contract within three days of Thanksgiving and Christmas were discounted more than 10% - maybe it's the holiday spirit?
As the saying goes, "If you like how this home looks in the Winter, you will LOVE it in Spring."