Why December may be the BEST Time to Buy Real Estate

While it is true that there is less real estate inventory on the market in December, it is also true that this may be the BEST time to buy!  Not only will you likely wind up paying less for the property, but you will save on your buying costs as well.  In the following post, I give you 6 reasons why.


1. Less Competition

There may be less sellers on the market in Decmber, but there are also less buyers!  As holiday shopping, shorter daylight hours and poor weather cut into time available for house hunting, many people put off their property search until after the new year.  This means that if you make an offer on a property, you are less likely to be up against competing offers.  Due to lack of other options, sellers who want to move the property before year-end are more likely to accept an offer at a lower price, with less earnest money and/or with more contngencies during December than they would at other times of the year.  Of course, this translates into a financial savings for you as the buyer!

2. Motivated Sellers

Let’s talk sellers.  There is generally only one reason why sellers list property in November-December… they are highly motivated to sell and don’t want to wait for Spring!  Whether this be a job change for the new year, an unfortunate family event or the property did not sell during the past Spring-Summer season, property owners with real estate on the market during the slow season are highly motivated to sell.  Again, this translates to the buyer having more negotating power and being able to purchase the property for less than they would at other times of the year.  Before you feel bad for negotiating against a seller that may be forced to sell their property, remember that you are doing them a huge favor by purchasing in the slow season regardless!

3. View How the Property Holds up to Weather

Depending on which part of the country you are looking in, the winter months are typically not as nice as the summer months and thus homeowners are more likely to encounter major issues.  This weather change  may be anything from a few degrees less and a few raindrops more to the great blizzards of New England or the Rocky Mountains.  In either event, it is difficult to hide leaky roofs, drafty windows and other unsavory house qualities during inclement weather.  When you tour a house in the late fall – early winter, be sure to take particular notice to any temperature changes or signs of water as you walk through the property.  If you are curious about heating efficiencies, you should be able to obtain recent usage statistics from either your real estate agent or the local utility company.

4. Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are still at historical lows, but have been steadily climbing over the past several years.  While there is no guarantee they will go up in the new year, history tells us it is highly likely.  Securing your financing now will ensure that you are not subject to the increased market rates comes January. Be sure to consult with your mortgage broker to know what is best for your specific financial situation.

5. Availabiliity of Agent & other Vendors

Due to a lower volume of overall real estate transactions during December, you will likely have more attention and flexiblity from your real estate agent and other vendors.  This includes availability to view properties at your convenience, flexiliby in scheduling home inspections, year-end specials from moving companies, discounted contractor rates and more.  As most vendors are looking to increase Q4 business, be sure to ask about any current specials for the holidays.

7. Builder Incentives

A lesser known perk of buying in December is builder incentives.  If you are buying a new construction home, you may be able to negotiate upgrades at a reduced rate from your builder.  Similar to the above, many builders are looking to increase sales for the slow-moving month of December in order to end the year on a strong note.  As such, your builder may be willing to cut you a discount on that upgraded tile or custom cabinets you have had your eye on!

Please feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions on the above or if you’d like to a get a jump start on your home shopping this holiday season!

Carolyn Quelly, Licensed Realtor
Coldwell Banker Chesapake
2525 Augustine Herman Hwy.
Chesapeake City, MD 21915


Mobile: 267-374-6963
Office: 410-885-2200

10 Tips to Make your Overnight Guests Feel at Home!

One of my favorite things about moving out of the city is SPACE: space to cook, space for the puppies and space to host guests!  When it comes to hosting, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your overnight guests feel at home.

Only a few weeks after moving in, we hosted my family for Thanksgiving and all 3 of our spare bedrooms were put to use!  Since then, I’ve been able to offer friends visiting from out-of-town a comfortable room in which to spend the night on numerous occassions. While I miss being close enough to grab lunch, having the space to host and enjoy a longer visit certainly makes up for it!  Sometimes, as friends will do, we get chatting and time slips away from us… as such, my overnight guests are often spontaneous and unplanned.  In order to ensure im promptu guests have everything they might need, I’ve made a few additions.  Follow my tips below and your guests will feel right at home!

1. Confortable Bedding and Throw Pillows

The initial impression of how comfortable a room will be is often determined by the bedding and any accompanying pillows.  Make your guests feel relaxed and at home as soon as they walk into the space by providing a visually appealling and comfortable bedding options with 2-3 throw pillows.  If you’re feeling extra-hospitable, purchase my favorite 100% organic bamboo hypoallergenic sheets for the room as well!

2. Extra Blanket

Some guests may be chilly in the evening and prefer to put an additional blanket on the bed.  Other guests may run warm… by layering the bed with a blanket and a duvet, you provide guests the ability to regulate their own temperature without adjusting your thermostat.  If the room is particularly prone to drafts or tends to run warm in the summer, a supplemental space heater or portable air conditioning unit is also a nice touch.

3. Toiletries your Guests may have Forgotten

Keep showers stocked with soap, shampoo and conditioner.  Keep extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup remover and feminine products in vanity drawers.  These essential items will allow im promptu guests the ability to feel like they can take care of themselves when they crash unexpectedly.

4. Plenty of Fresh Towels

When guests are able to wake up and shower without bothering you, they will naturually feel more at home.  If you’ve included the toiletries and the towels, then they have everything that they need!  Be sure to keep more than 1 in the bathroom for multiple guest or guests that prefer 2 towels – I am a 2 towel girl myself!  One for my hair and one for my body.  Check on Amazon for high-quality turkish cotten towels at much cheaper prices than home stores!

5.  Extra Paper Products

Place a box of tissues on the bathroom counter and stash an extra one under the sink.  Also ensure there is a roll of paper towels and extra toilet paper under the sink.  Pre-emptively including these items saves guests who are embarassed to ask you if something runs out.  How often have you been to a restaurant and no one bothered to tell the hostess there is no toilet paper?  Hopefully this will not happen at your home gathering!

6. A Bedside Table and Lamp

This provides the ability to not only turn the lights off from the bed, but also a place to put glasses, jewelry or other small items overnight.

7. Extra Phone Charger

If you have a spare charger, stash it in the room for guests to use!  It will save them from having to ask you if you have one for them to borrow.

8. Candle or Oil Diffuser

A small candle or oil difuser provides a clean, refreshing scent to the room.  I personally love this ultrasonic aroma cool mist difuser because it can be run at night without any light and lasts up to 9 hours!  If you regularly keep the windows and doors closed to the guest room, be sure to open the door in advance of bedtime to allow the stale air to ciruculate and let the temperature of the room balance with that of the house.

9. Comfortable Seat 

This could be a rocking chair, arm chair, bench, or any othe spare chair option you may have available.  Providing guests somewhere to sit besides on the bed provides a space for them to relax and take care of any other tasks they may need to do in the privacy of their room – tending to a baby, checking work emails, calling family, etc.

10. Place to Put Luggage

If you have a tight space, use a bench that will double as a place to sit or put luggage.  Conversely, you can also use as small table, dresser or folding suitcase stand.

Bonus Tip!

If your guest is a dog person, it never hurts to have the puppy waiting as well.