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The Storey Team : Toronto Real Estate

How To Take Advantage Of The Winter Market

10 November 2016
Tom Storey

December, The New Time to Buy a Residential Property.

It’ no secret to anyone who has looked at purchasing a home in Toronto, and increasingly the rest of the province, that the sheer demand for product makes the entire “Home Purchase” process even more stressful than it normally is. As a real estate agent I’m always trying to look for new ways to create leverage in a market that generally has very little on the buyers side. When you start seeing listings sell over-ask that we normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot Real Estate pole (** Alternatively known as a “Trump Stick” because of the fact that you can hold it with tiny hands) it becomes disheartening to any buyer looking for that “Diamond in the Rough” to take a shot at.

But there is hope.

Normally the month of December is slow. Inventory is way down and the buyer pool partially shifts to focus on holidays and ringing in the new-year, but the fact is, now more than ever December may actually be the best time to buy a place and I’m going to outline why.

Reduced Buyer Pool

This really is the #1 reason and you may be thinking “Yes, but you also said inventory would be down!!!” which yes, I did; however, Inventory is at a historical low already! The logical conclusion is that the buyer pool will drop-off in much higher numbers than inventory creating a much friendlier market for those looking to make offers. To put it into numbers; Let’s say the average listing receives 5 offers right now. Assuming a 20% reduction in the buyer pool for the period of December 15th, to Jan 10th you can assume that listings will only receive 4 offers instead of 5. While this seems almost negligible, that 1 offer could have been the bully! In theory this could result in you saving tens of thousands of dollars and at the very least will allow you to be slightly less aggressive when making an offer.

New Seller Motivations

Another key job of an agent is to determine the “Why”. Why is a seller selling their property? From that information you can begin to paint a picture about what types of clauses or terms may or may not be important in a particular transaction.  December is a unique month for this in that it creates many situations where Sellers may be more lenient on particular clauses and conditions in favour of a closing date that doesn’t mess with their winter plans. Maybe they’re traveling; maybe they have a family Christmas to plan so they want all of this “House business” to be over with. While you need to approach every single property with a fresh outlook, the possibly of these situations arising in December is a unique way to get a leg up that you won’t get consistently, any other time of year.  This situation is amplified if the listing didn’t sell in November. Frustration has a funny way of making peoples motives shift.

New Information 

Let me talk about Icicles! They’re majestic, and prefect imagery for the winter months. They’re also the reason you should be checking out homes in the winter. While trekking through 2 ft. of snow to go view a semi-detached that’s a 40 minute drive away seems like something that would fall just above “Having your fingerprints burnt off” on the enjoyment scale, there are a ton of advantages to seeing homes in Winter. The primary one is that you can can see how well homes are insulated first hand which is very tough to do in the summer. Tons of icicles = poor insulation.

There are traditionally more reasons to check out homes in December, but the point I’d like to stress is that in a crazy market like this, you have to be creative if you’re going to beat “the average”. Right now “the average” leaves buyers with little to no leverage in a transaction so get creative! Talk to your realtor! Enjoy the upcoming winter months, and most of all;

Stay warm.