The Gift of A Home: Tips for Buying a Home During the Holidays

In Monday’s post, I touched on the reasons why you should definitely continue your home search during the holiday season.  Today, I’ll navigate through a few things that buyers need to keep in mind during the process to get the best gift of all: a new home!

Tip #1: Ain’t No Problem with An Emmett Otter Christmas


Image Source IMDB

Underwriters don’t take time off during the holidays, so every swipe of the credit card, every deposit and withdrawal continues to be monitored.  What does that mean for buyers?  Be frugal this holiday season so next Christmas can be spent in the new house!

Set up expectations with the family, come up with a game plan with your lender, and stick to it.  Nothing kills the holiday cheer more than a high debt-to-income ratio or a loan rejection because your credit score bottomed out from non-payments.

Give your family gifts of time, attention, and love this holiday season, focus on the traditions as opposed to the number of presents under to the tree.

Tip #2: Plan for Closing Delays


There are plenty of banking holidays between now and closing, not to mention end of the year back up lenders and attorneys experience.  Be prepared for a delay or two, factor in extra days for your closing, and keep all parties involved in the transaction in the loop so that tensions don’t get too high. Your Realtor® will help you navigate the process and keep delays to a minimum.

Tip #3: Sweeten the Deal for the Sellers


Image Courtesy of

In Monday’s post, I mentioned one of the advantages to buying during the holidays is that most sellers don’t futz around when it comes to pricing at the end of the year. They price it seriously and ready to sell right out of the gate so it saves you and your Realtor® the guesswork of what kind offer they will take. Especially with other buyers sniffing around, you don’t want to risk insulting the seller right off the bat with a low-ball offer.  Work up a good offer for the seller, which could include flexibility with closing and the move, perhaps some “outside of the box” concessions to show the seller you’re just as serious as they are. Ask your Realtor® how to negotiate the perfect deal for you!

Tip #4: Be Flexible


I love this Christmas card! Be as flexible as a Griswold! Image Source:

People have parties, family visits that they have to plan the home sell around.  If you are out and about looking at houses, be prepared for a little bit of a wait time for showing notifications.  Most sellers are more than happy to be flexible with scheduling, but setting expectations of at least 2 hours notification time for the seller to get out of the house is starting off on the right foot.  Do you really want the seller who you could be negotiating with in the new future remember you as the inflexible person who rushed them out of the house before they were ready to show?

Tip #5: Get A Furnace Inspection


Image Source Wilmington Heating & Air Conditoning

And while the HVAC contractor is at it, have them look at the entire unit.  During the basic home inspection, unless the home inspector is a licensed HVAC contractor, only the levels of the air intake and return are checked.  There could be some easy-to-fix-right-now issues with the system that will be very-expensive-to-fix-if-not-caught-now-issues in the future.  And since it’s cold outside, the inspectors don’t run the AC, only the heat! Do yourself a favor and get that checked out in addition to your home inspection.

Are you ready to buy your next home?  Give me a call!


IMG_0003Morgan Overcash

Allen Tate Company


My Website




You have questions? I have answers! Leave your remarks below and I’ll be happy to help!

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