The Short List: Jerry S. James’ 4 Advantages for Clients Who Buy in the Winter

by Chicago Agent


Jerry S. James is the principal of Glenview-based Edward R. James Homes.

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 Jerry S. James, the principal of Glenview-based Edward R. James Homes, about the four advantages for clients who buy in the winter.

The winter months are typically the slowest time for home sales, but there are benefits for buyers who weather the elements and look for a new home. Here are four key advantages for clients who buy in the winter:

4. Less Competition Means More Choices – Just like booking a flight or vacation, in peak season, there are typically fewer choices and higher prices. When traffic is slow, there is a lower likelihood of bidding wars, and sellers tend to work harder to attract potential buyers.

3. Lower Pricing – Once the spring season kicks in, momentum usually returns and if its strong enough, builders will move to increase prices. Additionally, the housing market continues to improve and is showing no signs of slowing in the next quarter. Homebuyers who buy now, will enjoy a new home in 2015 at 2014 pricing.

2. Less Stress Over Move-In Dates – For buyers of new-construction homes who want to ensure their move-in is completed before the beginning of the new school year, buying in the winter substantially reduces the risks of a conflict in timing. Plus, buying new construction now in a maintenance-free community will also ensure this will be the last winter they’ll have to shovel snow.

1. More Room to Negotiate – Both homebuilders and sellers expect a slowdown from mid-November through January, but both are still motivated to sell. And, with fewer buyers coming through their doors, the odds are better that buyers will be able to secure a home at a better price and/or on better terms than waiting until the spring when there is more traffic and less reason to negotiate.

Jerry S. James is the principal with Edward R. James Homes, a Glenview-based, family-owned homebuilder with a 60-year history. James has led the land acquisition, planning, entitlement and financing for nearly 2,000 residential units and approximately $1 billion of residential and mixed-use development. Earlier this year, the firm launched sales at two maintenance-free communities: Brighton Mews, a 29-unit townhome development in downtown Park Ridge; and Westgate at The Glen, a 171-unit development featuring mews townhomes, rowhomes and single-family homes.

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