I just checked the forecast for Chicago today and it’s to be a balmy 4 degrees. Of course, anyone living, visiting or otherwise traveling to Chicago any time during the winter knows what to expect in Chicago. That wind coming off the lake can keep outdoor activity to a bare minimum. In Phoenix on thebuying year round other hand, residents there can expect a high of 80 degrees with pleasant conditions, no rain and blue skies.

What’s the point, that Chicago is colder than Phoenix in the winter? Yes, but as it relates to real estate investing it means much, much more.

There are certain areas of the country where it’s simply too cold outside for buyers to start shopping around. They’ll wait until it warms up a bit and properties for sale have had the chance to be freshened up a bit after a cold, cold winter. Yet at the same time, some of the very best deals can be found when there are few buyers in the market. More buyers competing for the same collection of properties drives up the price. Fewer buyers and sellers who list real estate during the winter doldrums are more than a bit motivated. They know they can get a better price in the spring but if they need to sell now they might accept a lower offer than they would otherwise.

In Phoenix? This is a great time for shoppers, especially those snowbirds who fly from Chicago to spend the winter in a warmer climate. Here, there are hundreds of open houses every weekend and sellers know those who are looking for a home in January are very much likely buying to escape harsh winters. Same time of year, different longitude and a whole new set of motivations. In Phoenix, buyers are motivated and in Chicago, sellers are more likely so. Real estate investors who work with turnkey companies to find properties all across the country year-round know and understand this dynamic. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean there aren’t any motivated sellers out there. There are.