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5 Homebuying Tips During Winter 2020

Welcome to the Winter 2020 real estate season – and what a year for the record books it has been.

In a more typical winter season, most buyers wait for spring, when real estate traditionally heats up, with competition sizzling through the summer months. However, 2020 has been anything but typical.

But do not let this unusual market mislead you into believing that this real estate market is without smart real estate investors’ opportunities. Consider these five tips to help negotiate one of the hottest markets in decades.

Tip #1 – Recognize that the 2020 winter selling season is anything but typical, and adjust your buying approach accordingly. Homebuyers must take a more careful and prudent approach by remaining aware (and ready to react) to overt market signals offering guidance when trying to purchase a home.

Tip #2 – Be certain you are qualified and be ready to provide a pre-qual or pre-approval letter to the seller that evidences that your financial situation has been analyzed by a qualified mortgage professional and approvable by specific mortgage underwriting criteria. And while a competitive market is a bit more challenging, it is not insurmountable. It just requires a smarter, more educated approach to ensure you are ready to meet or beat those competing for the home you wish to buy.

Tip #3 – Despite most economic gurus and real estate mavens shouting concerns about the impending real estate market decline when COVID-19 hit, the real estate market has not only bucked conventional wisdom, it has defied economic logic and expectations across the board. As such, with market conditions finding perfect alignment (think interest rates at historic lows, an anemic supply of homes, and the expected result – rising prices), buying a home in the winter of 2020 requires quick, educated decisions.

Tip #4 – The holidays, especially in the winter season, can slow down the processing time of mortgage applications. Even with the advent of some incredible technological advances in the mortgage financing business, the many lingering holidays during the winter-season cause paperwork slowdowns buyers should be aware of when navigating this year’s heated winter real estate market.

Tip #5 – Refine your lists of wants and needs before actively searching for a home by doing your homework upfront and ahead of time. To ensure the safety of the sellers, the agents, and the buyers, it is smart to have the buyer virtually tour potential properties first. However, when a buyer finds a property within their budget that meets most (or all, if you are fortunate) of their needs, it is unwise to dawdle and wait to make an offer in a highly competitive market.

The Take-Away

If there is one phrase that clearly defines the 2020 winter real estate market, it is the long-standing legal phrase time is of the essence!