Calling all winter lovers – there’s so much more to the chilly season than cosy nights in and festive cheer if you’re in the market for a new home.
Here are six reasons why the next few months are the best time to make a move. Yes, we mean that literally!
- It’s a Buyer’s market
Property sales go through a winter slowdown each year. With Christmas festivities in full swing, people are more likely to put off buying property until the spring and summer months.
What does this mean for winter buyers? As seasonal supply outweighs demand, there’s less competition. For you, this means more negotiating power and better chances of securing a lower price.
A sure-fire way of having a fruitful negotiation is to get a real estate agent on board. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, an agent’s market knowledge and expertise will help you obtain the right value for the property.
- Sellers are keen to sell
Sellers are eager to sell for the same reason you’re looking to buy. They want to take advantage of the winter months to close a chapter and move on to their next project – property or otherwise.
This can lead to two favourable scenarios:
- Firstly, sellers are more likely to budge on price if the property has been on the market for a long time; and
- Secondly, they’ll be more willing to commit to a quick promise of sale.
If you’ve found the right home, step in and take advantage of the owner’s urgency. And prepare yourself in advance by having your notary’s details ready. When the seller is happy to sign, you’ll already be in a position to navigate the rest of the buying process easily.
- One-off Property Deals
Who doesn’t dream of discovering a diamond in the rough when searching for a new home? This is rare, though – particularly in Malta, where unique properties at bargain prices garner lots of attention from buyers.
We’ve got great news, though! You’re more likely to come across gems of this kind in the winter months. Sellers might have already tried to sell their property on their own, only to hire a real estate agent late in the year. Or perhaps the property became unexpectedly available after a change in the seller’s circumstances.
Whatever the reason, enlisting the help of a property agent gives you access to uncommon deals.
The added benefit of this approach? Many properties are almost always finished and sometimes even furnished. So, your move-in date might be sooner than expected.
Remember! Make sure the property is right before committing to buy. Not all bargain-priced properties will be worth your time and money in the long run. But if you’ve found the one, think and act quickly! It won’t stick around for very long.
- Plan for summer
Second-time buyers and buy-to-let property owners take note: the winter months can be the most strategic time to purchase.
If this is your second property, chances are you’re planning to use it as a summer residence. And if you’re buying to let, take advantage of the summer season to rent your second house or apartment to get a return on your investment.
Importantly, give yourself ample time to prepare. Buying in winter means you can make the most of the low season to sort out any tiling, plumbing or electrical issues, furniture installation and any other renovations. Come summer, you’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead.
- Winter Sales
With some luck, the right property will come along and you’ll buy it before the winter is up. Enter our favourite phrase: winter sales! After all, who doesn’t love a good bargain?
Appliance and furniture stores have their best discounts between January and March. This is when they clear out the previous year’s stock to make room for the new. As long as you’re not after the latest models and designs, you’re much more likely to save on your furnishings at this time.
Pro tip: the minute you start searching for a property, do some research and keep tabs on any furniture stores you like. Maybe even get a couple of quotes on kitchens, bedrooms and so on. Fast forward to buying your home a few months later and you can return to the store and ask for a sales discount on the previous quote.
- Reduced stamp duty
First-time buyers in Malta and Gozo listen up!
If you buy your first home by March 2021, you’ll be exempt from paying stamp duty on the property’s first €200,000. Plus, you’ll benefit from a reduced 1.5% rate on the remaining amount, up to €400,000.
What’s all this about? Well, there’s more to the purchase price than the actual property value. You also need to factor in notary costs, bank processing fees if you opt for a loan, and stamp duty – a government tax attached to the property sale. With better rates guaranteed until March, you’ll make some super cash savings.
Plus, sellers also benefit from reduced tax rates during this period. So, with some clever negotiating and guidance from a property expert, now is a prime time for a buyer and seller to reach a win-win situation.
Are you ready to take the property plunge this winter? RE/MAX Malta can help you find the right home, at the right price. Get in touch today!