Real estate markets are seasonal. For families with children, the optimal time to move is when kids are out of school. Spring-time is when homes first come on the market and buying and selling reaches a frantic pace by summer time. The first day of school usually lines up with a sudden drop in sales transactions.
Many buyers that weren’t able to score a house in this spring/summer market cycle will wait till next year to resume their search, unless they have an urgent need such as a job relocation. The drop in competition sets the stage for a buyers market.
If changing schools is not a concern for you, then October through December is a great window to make a savvy home purchase.
Benefits of buying a home in the fall
Listing too late
Busy summer travel plans or being unable to complete required maintenance or repairs or an unexpected job transfer may delay a listing till the fall. Whatever the reason, a seller that has missed out on the fervent summer market, will quickly realize there are less buyers competing for their home. Families with kids have typically found their home prior to school starting so this significantly dwindles down the buying pool. This could open a window of opportunity for the patient buyer.
Days on the Market
Tell your Realtor you’re looking for homes that have been on the market since the spring with several price reductions. There’s always a percentage of inventory that was over-priced and did not actively compete in the market. By Labor Day, with little to no showings, sellers of these over-looked homes should now be more willing to negotiate.
Whether to show a loss or gain on their taxes for the current year, a seller may be motivated to make a deal to close before year end. Ask your Realtor if they can screen the MLS listings based on your search criteria to also include “incentives or urgency to close by the end of the year”. As a buyer you will be able to deduct some of the closing costs, mortgage interest and property taxes on your income taxes. A seller may also want to close on their next home to capitalize on these tax benefits.
One of the very best reasons to buy in the fall/winter months is your upper hand in negotiation. A sellers’ market means you’re less able to make too many demands. With multiple offer situations, you are extending yourself to the max to acquire that property without being able to ask for even minimum repairs or concessions. However in the fall or winter season, with less buyers competing, you can find the best deal on the market. You can also negotiate for needed repairs, that new interior paint or appliance upgrades.
There are some outstanding money saving benefits to buying a home in the fall/winter season of 2019. The slower season gives buyers stronger negotiating power and you still get to take advantage of tax savings. With the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2008, this could be an optimal time for you to find your new home.