Mortgage interest tax deductionSpring and summer have long been thought of as the busiest home buying periods, but 2013 has seen buyer interest extend way into the fall. Home values continue to rise, as does buyer interest, and inventory levels are still having a hard time keeping up around the U.S. This has have left many buyers wondering when they will catch a break.

Experts agree that holiday season home buying has its merits. It’s not the most common time to invest in a property, but that’s just one of the reasons why it could be the best time. From highly motivated sellers to less competition, here’s a look at why you might consider adding a new home to your holiday shopping list!

Less Competition: One of the biggest problems for buyers this year has been the competition. Once news of a housing recovery broke, buyers descended on the MLS in droves, snapping up properties while mortgage rates were near historic lows. This left a massive inventory problem in many markets where interested buyers far outnumbered available homes. But during the holidays, there will be considerably less competition when people are pre-occupied with holiday parties, shopping and the like.

Sellers Need To Sell: Typically, November and December are not ideal months for home selling, so if you come across a listing during these months, chances are, the seller needs to offload their home. As a buyer, you might come across a highly motivated seller during these months who is willing to work out a screaming deal. Keep in mind that inventory is generally lower during these two months, so you can’t afford to be picky.

Does buying a home during the holiday season sound like something you’re interested in? If so, here are some additional tips:

Unlisted Homes: Consider having your real estate agent touch base with local brokers in your target area to see if they know of any homes that aren’t yet listed. They may be working with sellers who are readying their homes for sale, in which case they wouldn’t be on the MLS yet.

“Old Expires”: It would be a dream come true to have a buyer knock on your door with a handful of cash, especially during the holidays when budgets are constantly busted. Look at “old expires” with your agent, which are homes that might have been for sale several months or even years ago but didn’t sell. You may be able to entice a home owner into selling even if their home isn’t listed for sale!

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