You know what it is like. December rolls around, and all of a sudden you can click your fingers and you’re at the end of January! These last couple of weeks before Christmas feel like one long, protracted “Friday afternoon” staring out the office window (proverbially or not). But, did you know that this is actually the best time of the year to buy an investment property?
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Yeah, but who has time? I’ve got this function then that... it’s family time... it’s relaxing time. I don’t want to waste my time worrying about property.” And so, you take your eyes off your goals. You choose extra helpings of dessert or maybe one more glass of wine instead of a cut price degustation of wealth creation opportunity.
I know, I get it. This time of year is important to me too, it’s a time for family and reflection and food!
But you know what else is important to me?
And so, with that in mind, I want to help you to capitalise on this unique maelstrom of seasonal advantage, so you can accelerate your position in life without sacrificing time with the family, afternoon naps, or long lunches!
But, you’re probably thinking, “What makes this such a good time of year to buy?”
Well, here are six reasons why now is the best time to buy:
1. Motivated sellers
Let's face it - if you were selling a house, and it had been on the market for a month or two or more, would you really want it to drag on through Christmas, and then potentially January and into February?
Of course not.
There is a reason that vendors have a property for sale before Christmas. Because they want it sold before Christmas!
They want peace of mind, so they can focus on the things that are important to them over this period. And for this reason, we are able to not only help the vendor to have a more confident and peaceful festive season, but we can usually negotiation much stronger deals to help expedite the process.
This is a massive opportunity to capitalise on vendor discounting, whilst helping a family to have a fantastic Christmas - win-win!
2. No one likes tax
Another great motivator for sellers in December is the impending land tax date, which in NSW and Victoria falls at midnight on 31 December.
Any property owned or jointly owned at this time counts towards the land tax threshold, so vendors who are over the threshold may be keen to sell quickly.
If you are looking to buy and are not concerned about the threshold, then you are in a great position to negotiate on price.
Giving someone the gift of reduced land tax at Christmas means you can win too!
3. Beat the competition
Just like you, pretty much every other buyer in the market it starting to switch off, which means less competition!
For most people, it's in the "deal with it later" basket, which means you can open yourself up to the all you can eat buffet of investment properties whilst everyone else is asleep on the couch!
This means you can get the best deals, at the best price, with the least stress.
4. It’s Christmas bonus time in the sales office
Just like everyone else racing to finish their business before the end of the year, sales agents are looking to wrap up all their sales for vendors too.
Not only does this benefit vendors, who can head into the holidays stress-free knowing their house has been sold, but it allows agents to bring in those last commissions for the year as well.
With motivated sellers, hardworking agents and willing buyers, the end-of-year deadline can lead to good results for all parties.
Cheers to that!
5. No one likes last season’s fashion
Did you know that listings increase massively at the end of January? All the vendors who had been holding off finally kick themselves into gear and get their properties on the market. This creates an influx of new opportunity for those in the position to buy.
Tell me, if you had a property on the market in November and it was still on the market come February and it was now "old stock" in a market place of choice: do you think this would be a good thing?
Of course not. For this reason, the selling side of equation are keen to avoid being thrown on the boxing day sale list, and maximise their chances of getting the deal done!
6. Using the terms to maneuver the price (negotiation jiu jitsu)
For most people, the December - January period is the one time of year that they have, well, time.
For owner occupiers looking to sell, this may very well be the time that they plan to move! And for someone who has just bought, the pressure to sell can quickly increase.
With many services slowing down over the Christmas period (solicitors' offices closing, banks shut for public holidays), vendors in this position may be willing to accept a lower price for more flexible settlement arrangements
An advantage you would miss out on if you waited until February to buy.
Now, if that isn't enough to break through the haze of Christmas party hangovers I don't know what will!
Of course, if you want to build a property portfolio, whilst lining up for seconds (or thirds) at the banquet table; or you want to tell all your mates that someone else is buying you a house whilst you have a beer around the barbie (talk about status positioning); or perhaps if you want to stay laser focussed on your long term goals, whilst staying laser focussed on timing your naps between meals; or, if you want to give your family the gift of prosperity, without having to work out how to try and wrap it...
Speak to a buyers agent, and let them do all the heavy lifting for you.
By Glenn 'Goose' McGrath, dashdot.