Spring and summer are commonly known as peak-season in Canada’s real estate market. But there are a number of benefits to purchasing in what is considered off-season too! From cost savings to enhanced convenience, here are five advantages of off-season house hunting and off-season homebuying.

Perk #1: Highly motivated sellers

Winter sellers tend to be highly motivated and eager to sell their property quickly, particularly if they’ve listed just before or during the holiday season. This is a favorable time of year for buyers, in terms of encountering sellers who are receptive to negotiating on price and sales conditions.

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Perk #2: Fewer bidding wars

Many parents would rather enroll their kids in a new school in September, not mid-year. You’ll have fewer competitors when you bid on a house that’s for sale during the off-season. You’ll encounter fewer fever-pitch multiple-offer scenarios, and be less likely to be outbid.

Perk #3: You’ll be able to see problems and negotiate solutions.

Does the roof leak? Are telltale icicles indicating attic heat loss? Is the basement carpet wet? Is the street around the house buried in snow because the municipal ploughs come here last? Are the living spaces drafty? Find out before you buy.

Check out a house midwinter and you’ll see what it’s like during the worst of our Canadian weather. No surprises here. And with motivated sellers and fewer potential buyers/competitors, you’re more likely to have the problem repaired outright, or to negotiate a repair credit into the sale price.

Perk #4: Less-busy real estate professionals

Almost every professional you deal with during your midwinter house hunting will be less time-stretched than during the peak season. From real estate agents to bank representatives and real estate lawyers, everyone will be seeing fewer clients. With fewer client needs to juggle, you can benefit from lightning fast response times, and faster than average turnarounds on paperwork and processing, from everyone you work with during the house hunting and homebuying process.

Perk #5: A smoother move

You can count on better service – and a better price – when you hire movers for a winter job. With fewer moves going on, you’re more likely to get your preferred date and time. By avoiding peak season, you’ll pay the lower off-season moving rates.

Although there are downsides to off-season buying (namely, fewer homes to choose from, and one more thing to add to your busy holiday schedule), the benefits are significant enough to make it a smart choice for many first-timers and experienced homebuyers alike.

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