We’ve heard the old adage that Spring and early Summer are the best times to buy a home. Sure, your kids are out of school, your family is more flexible and equipped to help with moving; and the weather may, or may not (this is Texas after all) be pleasant enough for a leisurely home search.
On the surface, it’s easy to see how the Spring and Summer months are more preferable and convenient when shopping around for your dream home. But when it comes to the most advantageous times to buy, Fall might be the season to consider.
Here are 5 reasons that this Fall could be a great time to start your home search:
1. Longer Time on the Market = Less Picky Seller
When a seller puts their home on the market in Spring and Summer and obtains no offers by Fall, they will most likely become less picky and choosy with their offers, especially if they are serious about selling and selling fast. This is advantageous for the buyer simply because less shoppers in the Fall = less picky seller = more room for negotiation. The seller most likely knows that Fall is not the best time for most families, so they may be more lenient and willing to jump on your offer.
2. Less Competition, More Leverage
What happens when everyone is shopping for the same thing at the same time? Demand goes up, which means that naturally prices will go up to meet demand. The opposite can be said for shopping in the Fall. After school is in session, demand for moving goes down, which means buyer competition goes down. Although competition is greatly reduced in the Fall season (sometimes considered “off season” for real estate), the inventory is still strong, and the potential savings and negotiating power of the buyer is even stronger when there isn’t a mob of other buyers driving up the price for one particular property.
3. Sellers Want to Close By End of Year
By Fall, sellers are tired. If a seller’s home is listed in the Fall, it’s because they not only want to sell their home, but most likely need to - whether it be for a job transfer, a family issue, or another pressing matter.
They feel a great pressure to get their house off the market so that they can move on with their lives and enter the holiday season without the stress of a home sale hanging over their heads.
They also want to be able to claim gains/losses on the home sale for the next year’s tax purposes, which can only be done if the home is sold before year end.
4. Better Rates
Fall can also be an “off season” for mortgage brokers and banks, so Fall buyers can potentially strike better deals when taking out a home loan. Points, down payments and closing costs can all be negotiated, so take advantage of banks’ lull season to strike a better deal.
Even further, rates this fall have been lower than they’ve been in a while - hovering around 3.6% - 4% APR (a far cry from 5.25% in late 2018), so it’s not a bad time to take out a mortgage right now.
5. More Realistic Picture of the Neighborhood
Shopping for a home during the Spring and Summer months means that school is out (eliminating the dreaded back-to-school traffic), and many families are on vacation, which can result in a slightly misleading neighborhood picture.
The advantage of considering a home during the Fall months (aka the “alive” months), is that you can get a more realistic picture of what your actual commute time will be with school rush, and can get a better sense of the neighbors that inhabit the areas you are considering.
If you have any experience buying/selling in the Fall, we’d love to hear about it, so sound off in the comments!