The holiday hustle will not interfere with real estate shopping this month according to new research from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), which found that two in three (64%) Ontarians in the market to buy a home plan to continue their search over the holidays. In fact, a majority feel that shopping for a home during the holiday season could mean less competition among buyers (64%) and possibly a better deal on the price of a home (55%).
“The holiday season is definitely a busy time, but determined home hunters should keep an open mind about when they might expect to buy a home,” says Costa Poulopoulos, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “While the supply of homes tends to decline during the winter months, there are always home owners who see benefits to listing at this time of year. Serious home buyers can use this time to get ahead of other buyers who might be too busy with holiday commitments.”
The research, conducted by Ipsos Reid and commissioned by OREA for its Ontario Home Ownership Index, a semi-annual province-wide research study, also found that just over half (55%) of those in the market to buy a home believe sellers are more willing to negotiate on price during the holidays.
“This notion comes from the assumption that anyone listing their home during the holiday season is eager to make a sale, and will therefore be willing to drop their price,” says Poulopoulos. “Sometimes, that can be the case; however, it is not always. Regardless of the time of year, buyers and sellers must be prepared to negotiate a satisfactory price for both parties.”
Tips for holiday home buyers
Get a good look: If the homes you visit are covered with snow, ask to see photographs of the home taken earlier in the year. Rely on a home inspector to tell you about any potential faults.
Ensure your team’s availability: Speak to your Realtor, mortgage broker and lawyer about their availability during the holiday season in case you need to move quickly on an offer.
Make time: Try to keep your other priorities organized so that you are ready, and have time to act if a home that you are interested in comes up.
Get ahead: If you are eager to get ahead of the busy spring market, talk to your Realtor about looking into homes that are not yet listed but that are being prepared for sale.
Tips for holiday home sellers
Deck the halls…to a minimum: Seasonal decorations are the way to go, but try not to overdo it to avoid crowding your home and distracting buyers.
Do not hide flaws: Rather than covering up flaws with holiday décor, take the time to fix them or keep them revealed to avoid future conflicts with your buyers.
Hire a Realtor: Reduce stress and give yourself more time to enjoy the season by enlisting the services of a Realtor that you trust and who will be available for you during the holidays.
Market your home: Take time to enhance your home’s curb appeal (even if it is covered in snow) and use good quality photography to show off your home (use photos taken in the spring/summer months if possible). If weather prevents prospective buyers from visiting your home, have a video tour available online.
More information is available at, www.wedothehomework.ca.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between October 28 and November 4, 2014 on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Ontarians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. This sample also included 230 prospective home buyers, those likely to buy within the next two years. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this study, the poll is accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points had all adults in Ontario been surveyed.
About The Ontario Home Ownership Index
The Ontario Home Ownership Index is designed to reflect Ontarians’ overall views of the residential real estate market in Ontario, and incorporates measures such as Ontarians’ perceptions of whether the market in their neighbourhood, city, and Ontario, respectively, have improved or worsened in the last year and looking ahead into the future, whether home ownership is important to them and whether it is a good investment in the long-term. The first wave of the index, conducted in the fall 2013, was set to a baseline of 100 points.
About the Ontario Real Estate Association
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 58,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 40 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com