When is the best time to buy a house? You might be surprised to learn the fall can be a very attractive season for buying. RealtyTrac analysts found that October is the best month to close on a home. They looked at over 32 million real estate sales since 2000 and found October buyers on average paid 2.6% below estimated market value.
Your decision on timing should always start with how ready you are with things like credit, job security, securing a good agent, and your readiness for the commitment. With those things already considered, there are compelling reasons that can make fall the best time to buy a house for many people. Who knows – you might be baking your pumpkin pie this season in the kitchen of your new home!
Benefits of Buying in the Fall
Summer buyers have closed on their new homes and remaining would-be buyers tend to hold off until after the new year. This makes it easier to get around open houses and get more personal attention from the selling agents to answer your questions. Another huge advantage of less competition is there are less chances for bidding wars. This slightly slower pace also gives you a little more time to conduct important research and consider your options.
Starter home inventory increases by about 7% in the fall months compared to the spring as reported in Trulia’s Inventory and Price Watch. This makes the fall a particularly good time for starter home buyers.
There’s probably a pressing reason for sellers to keep their homes on the market in the fall instead of holding off until the winter selling season. They’re probably eager to sell and chances are usually good you’ll have more negotiating power with these motivated sellers.
October is typically a month with lots of price reductions. Even if listing prices appear not to dip, actual selling prices tend to go down. Motivated sellers are anxious to sell before the market really slows down starting at Thanksgiving and they will cut prices to close deals.
Better Lending Deals
If you look around, you may find better deals on your mortgage such as lower rates and/or lower down payments. Business at banks is seasonal and they may be trying to boost their numbers, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.
If you’re on the market for a new home, there’s a good chance you’ve had your eye on some listings since the summer. Maybe you’ve even attended some open houses, putting another step ahead. Take advantage of your position to move quickly and snag your new home, maybe even for reduced price.
Numerous year-end home buyer tax breaks can make a big difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year. You might offset your taxable earnings for the year with deductions taken the following April that could include mortgage interest, property tax, and closing costs.
Help From Your Agent
Agents are often extremely busy during the peak buying seasons and can be less responsive to your needs during these times. In the fall season, they’ll have more time to devote to you, helping you explore more listings and move faster when it’s time to make a move.
Moving Service Availability
Moving services are jam-packed with clients during the peak buying seasons. If you’re lucky enough to secure one, you could encounter communication challenges and delays while they are juggling all their clients. Odds are good that things will go a lot more smoothly with moving services in the fall when the moving wave before the start of school has ended.
More Retail Buying Power
A lot of items you’ll need to buy for your home are cheaper in the fall, as you will find in Best Time to Buy Things from Consumer Reports. This can make a big difference in your bills, especially if you’re a new home owner with a longer shopping list for your home.
Thinking of making a move to buy in the fall? Here’s a great list of tips for preparing your finances for the fall home-buying season.