Should You Buy a Home During the Off Season?

couple looking at buying a home in the winter

Benefits of buying a house during off season

Should You Buy a Home During the Off Season?

When homes around the neighborhood start popping up for sale at the start of spring, it’s hard not to want to join the fun and start house hunting. Before you start collecting boxes and finding packing tape, however, consider that the offseason real estate market could be a better option.

Many people find value in purchasing a home in the off months, typically considered late fall and winter. Others find themselves needing to move quickly due to a job change and can’t wait until peak season. Fortunately, there are benefits to be found in offseason homebuying.

Is winter home buying cheaper?

Outside of not having to move your belongings in the summer heat, one obvious benefit is cheaper prices. In order to get noticed in the market, buyers may drop their asking price by a couple thousand dollars, resulting in savings right off the bat for you, the buyer.

Chances are that the owners are motivated if they’re selling in the winter months. While you don’t want to come in with a too-low offer, you have wiggle room to negotiate on things like appliances, closing costs or closing date. You can also find houses that have been on the market since early summer. These sellers may have dropped their price a few times, giving you the chance at a steal if you’re shopping in winter.

What are other benefits of home buying in the offseason?

When the housing market isn’t as busy, you can take your time with less competition for the available houses. You shouldn’t feel as much pressure to put in an offer, reducing stress in the overall process.

Have you ever worked with a real estate agent who seemed rushed to get to their next showing? With a slower market and more incentive to make a sale, your agent should be more focused on your needs in the winter than the summer when everyone is trying to move before school resumes.

The same goes for inspectors, appraisers and other real estate professionals. With fewer houses being sold, you’ll have an easier time getting on their schedules, and they may have more time to spend on your potential home. An inspector with the extra time on his hands can prove invaluable if he spots minor damage or wear before it becomes a costly problem for you.

What should buyers look for in the winter?

Shopping for a home during hurricane season or cold winter weather also allows a buyer to see how the home holds up during less-than-favorable weather. House hunting on a rainy day isn’t much fun, but you’ll be alerted to any roof leaks.

Does the central heating system seem to be keeping the outside temperatures at bay? Is a windy day or recent frost causing any trees and limbs to bend precariously? These are things you can keep an eye on while also checking out the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

Keep in mind that inclement weather could delay an inspection or appraisal. If you’re needing to move in a hurry, bank a few extra days before your closing date.

Ready to bundle up and head out into the offseason housing market? Contact one of our knowledgeable lenders today.

About the Author

Brandon Batson (NMLS #: 448634) is a graduate of Wofford College and brings 18 years of banking experience to SouthState. After spending four years in retail banking, he discovered his true passion for helping clients navigate the mortgage process and achieve their goals of homeownership. Brandon focuses on the customer experience by ensuring a smooth and efficient process.
Brandon Batson - SouthState Mortgage Banker

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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