If spring/summer a good time to sell, then fall/winter the best time to buy
Since spring and summer months are notoriously the best time to sell real estate, fall and winter may be the ideal months to buy real estate.
1. Fewer buyers are in the market – less competition
Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time when most people consider it to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale – and in some cases, there’s just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer. Fall means new inventory and repositioned old inventory that did not sell in the prime season.
This puts you in a great position to negotiate. Fall homebuyers should consider making aggressive offers, followed by more aggressive negotiation. Many sellers are motivated to sell before the holidays. If possible, buyers should let these sellers know that they can close before Thanksgiving or before the school winter break.
2. Sellers are exhausted
Some sellers who put their homes on the market during the prime selling times of spring and summer might have been overconfident by listing their homes for more than buyers were willing to spend. After months of little or no action, these sellers are often ready to make a deal.
Sellers who were unrealistic earlier in the year about price will now be more willing to reduce the price come fall. Because there are fewer buyers and because the sellers are now eager to sell, they are more inclined to take the lower offer than wait another six months for spring to come around.
3. Sellers become more serious
Not all homes on the market in fall are summer leftovers. Some people need to sell in the fall because the timing is right. Maybe they were having a home built and it’s now ready. Maybe they need to move because of a job. The sellers with houses on the market in the fall tend to be serious. That means sellers could be more open to negotiating and accepting a lower offer.
4. Fall is a better time of year to buy
Waiting until the fall (to buy) gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood. You’ll be settled in your home and can take precautions – like setting up that new alarm system.
5. You’re the center of attention
Because spring and summer are ideal times to buy a home, real estate agents are usually busier then. And that could mean you might not always get the attention you want. This is also true for other professionals you’re working with to buy a house. Service providers, such as mortgage lenders and title companies, can often respond more quickly since the summertime crazy market has slowed down.
The same goes for movers. Because summer is peak moving season, people often experience more delays and service issues, such as moving companies reaching capacity and running out of trucks to pick up shipments. The probability of experiencing a delay goes way down in the fall season.
6. You can take advantage of end-of-year sales to outfit your home
More than likely you will be making improvements to your new home after your purchase. Most likely you will need to buy items to maintain your home, and if appliances did not convey with your purchase, you’ll need buy those as well.
Wouldn’t it be great to coordinate your home purchase with sales on items you’ll need? September is a great time for buying carpet and paint. October means lawn mowers go on sale, and appliances and cookware are cheaper in November. November is also a great time to take advantage of retailer holiday sales items, which seem to be abundant that time of year.