Spring or late summer might be the best time for selling a home, but these seasons aren’t always great for buyers. More homes on the market means more competition, and house prices are usually at a premium. We take a look at some of the reasons why buying a home in the fall can be infinitely more fruitful than the warmer months.
Fewer Buyers Means Less Competition
As we mentioned above, less competition is a good reason to house hunt in the fall. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the home of your dreams, only to have it snatched out from under you by a higher bidder. Buyers with school age children drop off the market in fall and cooler weather can be a deterrent for viewers, leaving you with the pick of the bunch.
Sellers Are More Serious
Spring is the prime selling season and tends to attract sellers with high priced listings. By fall only the serious sellers remain. Keep an eye out for listings that have been on the market for over 60 days. As winter approaches these sellers are much more likely to negotiate with you on price as they’ll be motivated to make a sale.
What is the best month to buy a house in the fall? Prices will start dropping for some homes in August and September but if you can hold out until October you can expect to pay 2.6% below estimated market value. If you’re looking for a bargain, then fall is definitely the right season to shop around.
Real Estate Agents Have More Time
Fall is the best time to buy a home if you’re a first time house hunter. Real estate agents have more time to show you around, answer questions and generally pay more attention to helping you. The same goes for mortgage brokers, lawyers, inspectors and title companies. Buying a house can be stressful, so the more support you can garner at a less busy time of the year the better.
Year-end Tax Breaks
The IRS encourages homeownership by providing several tax breaks for buyers. So buying a house near the end of the financial year can give you a significant tax advantage. The following April you can offset closing costs, property tax, insurance, and mortgage interest against your income. As long as you’re entering into a mortgage contract you’re eligible for a property tax break.
Best Time for Home Improvement Purchases
Most people need to buy some kind of appliance or upgrade paint, carpet or curtains when they move into a new home. Luckily for fall buyers, the latter months of the year are a great time for getting discounts on things like carpet, paint and major appliances, like fridges, TVs, and cookware. You can save big money just by refocusing your house-hunting efforts on fall.
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to buying a home in the fall. So don’t let the chill in the air put you off house hunting, stay flexible, stay focused and you’ll be in a position to snap up the home of your dreams at the best possible price.