• Shopping for a home during the winter can reveal hidden surprises. Aside from less competition, buyers can find lower prices and motivated sellers, as well as more attention from their agents.
  • Buyers looking for a home during the winter months might experience lower inventory and inclement weather.
  • Looking at details -- such as insulation, heating and plumbing -- during the winter can be a real quality test for the home's nooks and crannies.

When you think of Christmas shopping, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t buying a home — and it’s probably not the first thing that comes to your clients’ minds, either.

However, Santa’s busy season can be an excellent time to house shop. Below are a few reasons that it’s advantageous for your clients to house hunt now. But first, let’s talk about the downside of winter home shopping and leave the pros for the end, so they will be fresh in your clients’ minds.

The cons

1. Lower inventory

Winter can mean even slimmer pickings for homebuyers. The inventory of homes on the market can often reach its lowest point in December.

Why? Because of the low activity during the winter months, many real estate agents will advise sellers against listing their homes during this time and tell them to delay until at least spring instead.

That means that the housing market will primarily be made up of leftovers from the busier summer and fall months, as well as foreclosures and short sales.

2. Inclement weather

House-hunting in the winter can be a bit of a pain, especially if you live up north. Heavy snow can make it difficult to assess a home’s curb appeal and landscape, and it’s just plain annoying to drive through.

The pros

On the other hand, there are more pros that you might not have thought of, much less discussed with your clients.

1. Less competition

Just like the weather, homebuying season is its hottest during the summer months. All of that competition for homes can put a lot of pressure on buyers to make an offer quickly for fear of losing out on the home of their dreams.

With the decrease in buyer competition, you’re less likely to end up in a bidding war.

2. Lower prices

The drop in competition and the drop in temperature are also often followed by a drop in prices. Don’t expect any Black Friday-level discounts, but every little bit helps, right?

3. Motivated sellers

In addition to price, the low activity on the market can also mean that sellers are more willing to negotiate with buyers on things such as closing costs, closing date and terms of the sale.

The homes that are for sale during the winter months are often ones that didn’t get picked up in the busier season, so sellers might be eager just to get the deal closed before the new year so they can move on.

4. Improved client services

As the client load tapers off for agents and mortgage lenders, they’ll be able to devote even more time to clients. And what client doesn’t want as much individual attention as possible?

5. Pre-inspection red flags

Want to know how well a home’s heating and plumbing works? What about the insulation? Looking closely at these details is a true quality test for many homes because during the winter months these issues can’t be hidden or ignored.

When you’re touring homes during the winter, you can put your hand up to the windows to see if they’re letting cold air in, or you can check if the thermostat matches up to the internal temperature of a home.

Even if you’re house-hunting in a warm area, you’ll want to make sure the insulation of the home will be able to stand up to the test of the hot summer months, so you’re not sweating your purchase later on.

Just like with any buying season, winter has its pros and cons. However, if you’re willing to brave the cold weather, then you might end up with a steal of a deal and a new place to call home, just in time for the holidays.

Sharon Voss is the president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Connect with ORRAFL on Facebook or Twitter

Email Sharon Voss.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription