Buying property in the new year can be a bit like shopping in the sales – vendors are eager to sell after a slow winter and often reduce prices to secure a quick transaction. According to Rightmove, house prices and new listings dropped between October and November as the majority of buyers put their plans on hold over the Christmas holidays. If a home has been on the market for some time, a vendor is likely to reassess their asking price in the new year or take a break from selling until the spring when the property market picks up again, so the winter months can be an excellent time to negotiate a good deal.
If you’re serious about finding a new home this time of year, here are a few suggestions for making the most of your bargain hunt:
- Get in touch with you solicitor as soon as possible so they can make the relevant arrangements before things slow down for Christmas;
- Broaden your search to properties below your budget that might need a bit of work, or homes up to 30% above your budget – now is the time to negotiate on asking price!
- Don’t be put off if a house has been on the market for a long time – times are tough and many vendors are finding it hard to sell. Take advantage of the quiet winter months to make an offer;
- Be patient if there isn’t a slew of new properties available. Make the use of the down-time to research similar properties in your preferred areas so that you can judge comparable prices more accurately;
- Use the natural networking opportunities that arise over Christmas at parties and gatherings to find out if there are any great properties up for sale in your area – you may even get in there early with people who were planning on waiting until spring to put their home on the market!
- Finally, use the advice of your property solicitor and don’t rush into a sale that looks too good to be true… it probably is!
With a combination of a slow winter property market, the recent reforms in stamp duty, and a dip in house prices, this winter is the ideal time to invest in a new home. If you’re looking for a new place in the Thames Valley, try the experienced solicitors Frances Lindsay & Co for a hassle-free transaction, and you could be in a brand new home for 2015!
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