Park City’s autumn shoulder season moves into the holidays in the blink of an eye. On top of our everyday lives, all of our to-do lists soon become cram packed with shopping, traveling, cooking, and social demands. Right now, buying a home probably isn’t your top priority … but you may be missing out! The savvy buyer in Park City knows this may be the best time of year to buy because competition for inventory is lower and sellers are getting squirmy about the slow market that will last until the ski season is in full swing weeks from now. We’d like to offer you five insights on how you could scoop up a great deal on a property during this time.

Be ready to negotiate
During the shoulder season, Park City buyers typically have the upper hand in negotiations. Given that most sellers would choose the busy ski or summer seasons to list their property, if someone is listing their home now they probably want to sell it quickly, or their home has been sitting on the market since last summer. That translates to a seller who is probably ready to negotiate. “Sellers who are on the market during this time of year are often motivated to negotiate a sale rather than potentially carry a home through this off-season,” says Ann MacQuoid. “We often see the best values written during this time.”

The art of the offer
You might be calling the shots as a buyer during the shoulder season, but that doesn’t mean all sellers are willing to just roll over. “Make an offer that is lower than the asking price, but not so far below that it insults the seller,” said Steve Chin. “Even a small difference in price can mean significant savings for buyers in the long run,” said Chin. “Another option is to ask for extras such as furniture, new carpet, or fresh paint.”

Offer to have appraisals and inspections done quickly
It’s always good to get the house you want to buy appraised and inspected as quickly as possible. If both processes go well, you can move forward, and if they don’t, you can move on. “During the shoulder season, you can get both done quicker because there is less activity, and inspectors and appraisers can probably get to you right away,” said Suzanne Harris.

Know your seller
The Park City real estate market is unique and does not necessarily follow national trends. Second-home buyers usually flock here during the ski season because they can add it to their family’s vacation. Primary homebuyers are more likely to make their move during the summer so their children are settled before school starts. However, seller’s lives do not necessarily follow this pattern. “If they are listing a second home now, perhaps they want to close before the end of the year for tax reasons,” said Dena Fleming. “If they are selling their primary residence, they probably have many considerations about the upheaval of moving while carrying on with their everyday lives.” This is one area where your Real Estate Agent will prove their value to you: keeping you informed about what challenges face your seller. They will give you insights into how you can help accommodate your seller’s needs, making it all the more likely that your offer will be accepted.

Park City’s shoulder season will be with us until Christmas. We may have had a few good snowfalls and the resorts may open, but real estate will not return to full swing until late December. If you are thinking of buying, now is the best time all year to make your offer. Sellers will not be this ready to negotiate until this time next year, and you will almost certainly pay more. We at Chin-MacQuoid-Fleming-Harris would be over-the-moon to be given the opportunity to represent you in the best home purchase of your life!

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