Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Lisa Foradori, the managing director head of consumer direct at JPMorgan Chase & Co., for her tips to help you master the winter housing market.
The leaves have fallen, there’s a jacket on your shoulders and the air is noticeably colder. Yes, winter is on the way—so does that mean your client’s housing search is done for the year? It shouldn’t be.
The housing market does not hibernate for the winter and neither should you. In fact, there are many advantages to buying a home during the winter. To help you make the most of the season, here are five tips from Chase.
5. Create a ‘Wish List’ for Your Client’s New Home – You clients may have thought about abandoning their search for the season, and it’s a safe bet many other homebuyers actually did. That means there is less competition from other buyers and less chance you clients will get stuck in a bidding war. Use this to your advantage. Pursue the homes with all of the features on your list – from a fireplace to central air conditioning. You clients may be able to get more for their money.
4. Trust the Professionals – Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting moments in your client’s life. Once you’ve found them the perfect one, they’ll want to move in as soon as possible. The good news is, your clients may find the buying process to be faster during the slower winter season, as mortgage professionals have fewer customers to serve. That means even more undivided attention to answer those tough questions, from how to apply for a mortgage to where to start with the home search.
3. Keep Calm and Look for a Deal – The homebuying process can be intimidating, making your client feel as if they need to act fast or lose their dream home to another buyer. Luckily, the winter season provides more time to make decisions, as there are fewer buyers out there.
2. Make a Lower Offer – How low can you go? Sellers who list in the winter season are usually serious about selling and are not simply testing the market. Plus, a motivated seller will be more likely to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to bid aggressively. With today’s low mortgage rates, your client could get an even better deal this winter.
1. Inspect Thoroughly (from the Roof to the Plumbing) – The winter months can be a great test of home quality with tough weather conditions and extremely low temperatures. As you tour a home, ask yourself: Does the home feel cozy when you walk in? Do you notice strange drafts in any of the rooms? Does the home have any heating or plumbing issues? Inspecting a home during the winter lets you identify these problems and depending on what you find, you may be able to negotiate the price even further.
A seasoned business executive with more than 20 years of marketing, product and general management experience, Lisa Foradori is the managing director head of consumer direct at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a position that entails overseeing sales and operations for the consumer direct originations division of mortgage banking at the company. Previously, she oversaw marketing and product responsibility for First Mortgage and Home Equity lending for originations and servicing.