It’s a well-established pattern: Home sales boom every spring and summer, and then, as the leaves begin to change, the market begins to cool. By November, with the holidays coming near, few people are focused on real-estate shopping- making it the best time for you to begin your hunt.
That being said, here are five reasons why you should buy your home this fall:
Most sellers list their house in spring or summer when the real estate season is at its peak. If your home is on the market in fall or winter, however, chances are the sellers will be eager to close. You may be contending with a major life change, or perhaps the home simply didn’t find a buyer during peak season. In any case, the owners may be open to making a deal—and that’s a great reason to buy, especially when demand is low.
When the kids go back to school, home sales often begin to slow down. While that may not be great news for home sellers, buyers can take advantage of seasonal lulls. The competition for homes will be less fierce and there is a smaller chance that you’ll be outbid by someone else. Bidding wars require fast action—but with fewer buyers looking, you’re less likely to find yourself competing for a property. Take full advantage of the slow season to do more comparison shopping and make your decision more carefully.
When there are fewer buyers around, sellers sometimes decide to lower their home’s asking price. That could be the case if a home has been on the market throughout the spring and summer. By the time the fall arrives, a home seller may be ready to take a hit just so that he or she can move on. And a homebuyer who’s waiting in the wings could score a great deal on a house.
When you buy a home in the spring or summer, you can take something like green grass for granted. You might focus on a home’s beautiful flowerbeds and ignore the loose shingles on the roof or the crack in the driveway. Landscaping, with all its lovely flowers and leafy trees, is like makeup for a home—and it can camouflage a lot of flaws. When the leaves have dropped and the blooms have faded, the real story emerges: peeling exterior paint jobs, worn areas in the roof, foundation cracks, and other issues with the home’s exterior will be plain as day. By shopping for homes in the fall, it will be easier to spot landscaping problems and other exterior flaws. And you can deal with those issues before you buy the house.
Regardless of when you decide to buy a home, it’s important to do plenty of research before making a purchase. It’s a good idea to figure out how much house you can get approved and get preapproved for a mortgage. You can also compare rates to see which lender has the best deal.