Pros and cons to moving before the new year

As the end of 2011 fast approaches, home buyers trying to close on a house before the start of the new year may find some pros and cons of completing the transaction during the holiday season, Fox Business reports.

Lengthy appraisals and a slowed mortgage application process may have potential buyers reassessing their time frames, but a slow in overall activity may create unique opportunities that could have consumers finding deals they wouldn’t find in warmer months in addition to the current low mortgage loan rates.

“The real benefit of buying during the holiday season is that sales activity is extremely low and sellers tend to panic if they still have their house on the market,” Amir Korangy, publisher of real estate magazine The Real Deal, told Fox Business. “They figure that no one wants to move in the cold weather, so you have an advantage on negotiability. However, as a buyer, you have less selection.”

However, the buying process is not something to be rushed, says managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman, Frances Katzen.

A buyer may be dead set on moving into a new home by New Year’s Day, but needs to be in a place of choice, not need, he says. For buyers with children, moving mid-school year can be tough, so don’t become dead set on anything, because that’s when mistakes are made.