A lot of decisions go into buying a house, but when you buy may be just as important to your bottom line. Conventional wisdom says that Spring is a great time to look at homes for sale, but that may not be in your best interest as a buyer. Although warmer weather tends to bring out the buyers, a smart home shopper will do better if they begin their home search in Fall or Winter.
One good reason is less competition. In the spring and summer, people tend to be out and about more, and that means more crowds at open houses and less one-on-one time with sales agents and home owners. It also leads to fiercer competition, bidding wars, and higher sales prices, which is good for the seller and agent, but not so much for the buyer.
This leads to the next two reasons it’s better to look at homes for sale before or just after the winter holidays: price and selection. Studies show that home sales tend to taper off after the new year, and that’s in part because many deals are gobbled up in the mid to late Fall buying period; many sellers also pull unsold properties off the market and re-list them in the Spring. That leaves the most motivated sellers in the market at a time when there are less people looking, and that can translate into a lower purchase price on a better property for the smart consumer.
Anything you can do to turn the odds of getting a great house for less money is worth the effort. A dedicated buyer’s agent will be able to help you with the ins and outs of negotiating price, the timing is up to you. If you’re in no hurry to buy, wait it out until the time is right.