Historically buying a home in the winter meant you faced less competition and selling your home in the winter meant it might sit on the market longer. This year with a global pandemic and a stronger than ever real estate market, things in Bozeman will be different!
Buying a Home in Bozeman this Winter
Winter is traditionally a slow time for real estate. There are generally fewer homes available and with a limited number of people looking, buyers often found themselves in a position where they have more leverage and options for negotiations on home prices. In Bozeman, we have been having supply and demand issues for several months and most do not see this changing as the temperatures cool. With current market demands and lack of inventory, we anticipate the busy season in Bozeman to continue into the winter.
Buyer fatigue is very real, ask anyone who has been trying to buy a home in Bozeman these past 5 months. With tough competition, multiple offers on most homes, and losing out to cash offers, it's understandable that buyers find it hard to keep up. There will probably be a handful of buyers that will take a break from our crazy market for a few months and wait until inventory picks up again in the spring. This could potentially create a friendlier buyers-market for the winter. The one thing to consider in Bozeman is we are still getting new crops of buyers each week so a big slow down like we normally see this time of year, probably won't happen.
With home prices in Bozeman increasing at the current rate, there is an urgency that if you wait until spring the prices will get too high. In winter we traditionally see home prices stabilize. This winter, most agree we will continue to see appreciation. With a lack of inventory, it seems each home that comes on the market is selling for a couple more thousand than the last. With this in mind, buying during the winter could be a better option than waiting.
So what is a home buyer to do? Understanding the Bozeman real estate market and having realistic expectations are good first steps. It's important to realize how fast our market is moving so you are prepared before you start. In our market, if you are interested in a property, you have to act fast. It's simply too competitive for waiting a few days to make an offer. If you understand these expectations it will make the process easier. As a buyer, prioritize your wants and needs and know that it might be hard to meet all of those in our market.
Selling a Home in Bozeman this Winter
Home sellers often wait until spring to list their home because they think a green lawn and no snow might show better. But, can you think of a time a home looks better than during the holidays? Winter is beautiful in Bozeman and sellers shouldn't overlook this great time to put your home on the market.
Traditionally spring is when we see homes hit the market in hopes of less competition than the peak summer months. However, the pools of buyers are showing up early and this year it will most likely be even earlier. If someone is considering buying in 2021, they are probably going to start thinking about it in January, right after the holiday's end. Buyers are showing up before listings so if you can get your home listed before others it can be an advantage.
A benefit to selling your home in the winter is the turnaround time can be quicker. During our peak summer months, it can take 5-6 weeks just to get appraisals back and home inspectors can back up. This can cause delays in closings. When the market slows down in the winter, things can move faster and quicker closings can happen.
If you are planning on selling your home this winter, it's time to get it ready to sell. In Bozeman, it is easy to think you simply have to put a sign in the yard, which is mostly true. However, if you want to maximize what you get out of your home, it should be in the best condition to sell. Talk with your real estate agent to discuss which projects could provide a financial benefit. They will be able to advise you as to what is worth your time. By having your home in top condition when it hits the market you are more likely to sell quickly and at top dollar.