If you plan to make 2024 the year you finally buy a home, you should consider moving your goal post a little and, rather, look to purchase over the festive season.
While many people feel there are too many distractions to allow for a successful property purchase, real estate professionals say there are some good advantages to buying during the holiday rush.
In fact, the festive season brings a unique dynamic to the real estate market that can make investing in property at this time a strategic decision, says Richard Gray, chief executive of Harcourts South Africa.
He shares some key reasons why this can be the case:
– Reduced competition
With many people focused on holiday festivities, there may be reduced competition in the real estate market. This can translate to better opportunities for buyers and investors.
– Motivated sellers
Homeowners who are selling during the festive season often have strong motivations to close deals quickly. This can lead to more negotiable terms and potentially favourable pricing for buyers.
– Tax advantages
Investing before year-end can have tax advantages as some investors may be looking to offset capital gains or reduce their tax liability for the current tax year.
– Family planning
Families often use the holiday season to plan for the future. This includes considering larger homes, investment properties, or relocation. Investors can tap into this mind-set.
– Long-term investment
Real estate is a long-term investment and the festive season can serve as a starting point for a new year's financial resolution. Investing early can help individuals and families achieve their long-term goals.
Since the holidays are not a popular time for sellers, real estate agency Knight Frank agrees that the properties for sale probably do really need to sell. So, if you're able to act fast, December is a great time to negotiate a bargain.
However, you should get pre-approved for a bond to give yourself an advantage with agents who will start the process before you've even selected a property.
“When the perfect home comes along, you'll be one step ahead if your conveyancer is on the ball and can thoroughly examine your supporting papers, such as identification and financial evidence, in advance.”
The agency says these are the reasons you should not stop house-hunting during the festive season:
– You may be able to get a good bargain
December is not a particularly popular season for sales as people are more focused on celebrating the end of the year with their loved ones. Because of this, it is probable that the homes for sale are in urgent need of a buyer.
This puts you in an excellent position to negotiate for a cheaper price or to have some repairs or improvements covered by the price of your purchase.
“This can give someone the push they need to stop renting and move into their own property if they are just on the verge of being able to afford to buy one.
“To ensure that you close by the end of the year, just be ready to move swiftly after you strike a deal.”
– There won't be as much competition from other buyers
Around the holidays, you'll probably be able to house hunt with less competition and get to choose from a variety of real estate professionals. Once more, this is because it is the time of year when most people are preoccupied with spending time with their families and going on shopping sprees.
It will be liberating to know that you don't have to fear losing a potential home.
- Sellers want to sell their homes as soon as possible
Sellers, agents, and banks all want to get things done before the end of the year, so you'll probably find that people are ready to cooperate with you to move things along.
But make sure you and your agent are on the same page regarding your timeframe.
“Before you sign a contract, find out if they intend to take additional time off for the holidays. Also, ask your realtor to inquire with the seller about any potential holiday delays. That way, if they disappear for two weeks, you won't be left in the dark.”