This has been quite a week in global markets, and real estate is feeling the impact.
Mortgage rates are up 50 basis point in just a week, and there is widespread speculation that the Fed will soon be raising rates.
If you are planning to buy, and will be using a lender, it may be wise to lock in rates now and go shopping.
Longtime readers will have read this many times, but it bears repeating: the holiday season is one of the best times to snag a bargain in real estate.
Why are holidays such a great time to buy?
- Less competition. Showings are always down this time of year, as many buyers are simply too busy with holiday activities and parties to prioritize their search.
- Sellers are vulnerable to the powerful psychology of wanting to "start the new year fresh." It's often possible to get excellent terms as a result.
- The election exaggerates the trends. Showings are down even more than usual as buyers postponed due to the election. Many of them are now just punting things out to January.
I put my money where my mouth is: my home I negotiated in November two years ago. While it was in escrow there was a long procession of broken hearted buyers who had missed out. I'd return for an inspection in January, and people were there looking and hoping it would fall out.
The home next door to mine sold for 40% more the month after I closed. While my situation was extreme, there are opportunities every holiday season.
Always remember that great deals are rarely "found" -- rather, great deals are created. The seller's asking price or opening offer may be a long way from where they are willing to go.
January brings more inventory, but it also brings more competition. If you are more motivated by a deal than by checking every last item on your wishlist, now is the time to be writing offers.
January could be even busier than usual, with all the people who postponed buying due to the election becoming active again.