When is the best time of the year to buy your first home?

by Geraldine Santiago 


These are the words all buyers like to hear. The best time to buy automobile, furniture, electronics, appliances and even clothing is at the end of the year, when new inventory is anticipated for the new year. Older models, makes and styles need to be cleared away to make way for newer inventory.

The real estate market is constantly changing. Month to month, year to year, the real estate market is always different.  Typical months where buyers have a slight edge is the fall and winter months. But this is not always the case, and different areas and sub-areas could experience different highs and lows. A local real estate agent can help in determining what is the best time of the year to buy a house or an apartment.

There are a few real estate software programs now allowing buyers to have access to recently discounted properties or price changes.  Sometimes, these price changes or discounts happen more than once.  For those looking at properties, it is always good to have that information accessible. 

Another great way to see if a seller may be willing to discount the price is to look at the number of days a property has been on the market. The longer a property has been in the market, chances are, the more willing the seller is willing to negotiate.  Many sellers buy first before selling their home. This could give you an advantage if the sellers have bought already and are itching to sell their home. Find out what whether the seller has already purchased a property might give you an advantage.

If its the last unit that's remaining by a developer- maybe a showroom, some developers may be more willing to sell at a lower price if completion is sooner rather than later.

In addition, look at already vacated properties.  If, for example, the seller has moved out or the tenant has moved out, chances are the sellers are more willing to take on a lesser price, even without having it formally reduced on the Multiple Listing Services.

Look closely for the property's sales history. If the property was on the market previously, this could give you an indication that the property has been on the market even longer than the recent listing.

If you made an offer that the seller did not take, three months later he/she might be desperate to sell at the price you were offering.  Make sure that you communicate your preferences to your Realtor so that your Realtor can find out the latest status of the property you made an offer on.

For this information, ask your Realtor to access the sales history of the property and can give you an edge when you negotiate. 

Good luck-- I hope this helps!

Sources to look:  Go to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's statistics. They have information collected from 1999 onwards, and data collected every month.  

Geraldine Santiago is a RE/MAX Realtor®  licensed for both residential and commercial real estate services, specializing in land assembly projects and land acquisition.She is a published author of three real estate reference books for Self-Counsel Press Ltd. namely the "Complete Home Buyer's Guide for Canadians", "Selling Your Home I Canada" and "Buy and Sell a Recreational Property in Canada" and her recently self-published ebook "How to Band Together with Neighbours in Land Assembly", 2018.   She is known for seminars on real estate trends in buying and selling in metro Vancouver.  

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