Usually January flows like molasses for Oakville real estate, but this January is different. Some people think that the interest rates are going to take a hike, others are afraid if they keep waiting the Toronto bubble is going to burst and no one is sure how long prices will stay good. Most economists are projecting that with the new mortgage rules that came into effect last year that things will stay on the up and up; as long as interest rates remain low (which they will) and employment levels remain high, the market will keep moving forward. But if people are spooked and listing early, what does this mean for you?
Buyers Have More Opportunities
Homeowners are listing their properties because they’re worried that the market might bottom out. That means you might encounter some great deals AND you’ll have a much easier time working with your lender than you would in a traditional boom time like February. You’ll get faster processing times, better deals and all the ingredients you need to find the home that’s right for you.
There are downsides though, like you may not be able to inspect everything until it thaws out. Houses might end up looking a bit drab in the winter and you may not be able to accurately assess a home’s curb appeal. If you’re not able to check out an A/C system for example or maybe a swimming pool, put a contingency in your buying agreement. If it’s broken come spring they’ll have to pay out of a fund that’s set aside before you buy.
Sellers Need to be More Careful
If you’re selling a home in January you’ll face different issues than if you were selling February or March.
- You’re going to want to pull down those Christmas lights as soon as January 1st rolls around. If you don’t people might think you’re just as lax on keeping the interior of the home up to date.
- If you have a fireplace you’re going to want to have it turned on in these cold winter months. Let people know that it’s clear and working, that it puts a lot of light and heat into a home.
- Get a green audit before you put your home on the market. You’re going to need to be able to show that if these people move in before spring hits they’ll have an energy efficient home.
So while some people might be skittish about the future of the market, it could be the right time to sell or to buy. If you’re selling get prepared to sell your home get an audit of your home done to show people you’re not trying to escape the cold. If you’re a buyer make sure a fund is set aside if anything bad turns up in the thaw.