It might seem counter-intuitive, but moving in the winter—from house-hunting to getting all your worldly belongings from point A to point B—can actually be easier, cheaper and more convenient than any other time of the year. Here’s why it pays to move during the colder months.
It’s a Buyer’s Market
Spring has always been considered the best time to put a house on the market; warmer weather inspires buyers to get out and hit the open house circuit, while gardens and outdoor areas tend to show better when they’re not covered in three feet of greying snow. But there will always be sellers who need to list their homes in the dead of winter, so if you’re out there pounding the pavement while other would-be homeowners are busy hibernating, you’re at a distinct advantage. Less buyers means less bidding wars, less stress and more chances for you to score the house of your dreams.
Real Estate Agents are Less Busy
The warmer months are prime buying-and-selling times, so it makes sense that the busiest time for most real estate agents is April through September. Mid-February, though? Not so much. Make the most of the slow period and work with an agent who can give you 100 per cent of their attention, and help you explore all your options; you’ll both be happy when you end up with the perfect home.
Sellers are Motivated
When sellers put their houses on the market during the winter months, there’s usually a time-sensitive reason like a new job in a different city, or a baby on the way. Whatever the case, they’re often motivated to sell quickly and close the deal with minimal hassle. Luckily for you, that translates into possible savings—sellers might accept a lowball offer when they’re not flooded with other options—or a closing date that fits with your schedule. The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Moving Companies are Cheaper
Unlike spring and summer, when you’d have to book a rental truck or moving company weeks (or even months) in advance, it’s pretty easy to score movers and transportation in the off-season. It just happens to be cheaper, too. Moving and rental-truck companies usually offer winter discounts to entice customers, and you can even book weekends—which tends to be impossible in June, July and August—rather than take time off work to get the job done.
Tradespeople are Easier to Book
Whether you’re looking to have your new place professionally painted before you move in or need an expert to install that gorgeous vintage chandelier, you’ll have an easier time booking tradespeople in the winter than you would in the spring, summer or fall. Like movers, tradespeople tend to be less busy in the colder months, when homeowners aren’t as focused on home improvement. You won’t necessarily score crazy deals, but most painters, electricians and repair technicians will be more than happy to accommodate you.