The days may be getting shorter, but the home-shopping benefits are growing.
Real estate markets ebb and flow just like the seasons. The spring market starts hopping when the sun comes out, flowers bloom and winter is over. Conversely, fall signals the beginning of a slower market, which could be good for buyers.
If you’re in the market for a home, here are some reasons why fall can be a great time to buy.
Leftover spring inventory may result in deals
Home sellers tend to go on the market for the first time in the spring. They often list their homes too high out of the gate, which could mean that a series of price reductions follow during the spring and the summer months.
These sellers have fewer chances to capture buyers after Labor Day. By October, buyers are likely to find desperate sellers and prices that may, in fact, be below a home’s true market value.
Fewer buyers are competing
Families who want to be in a new home by the beginning of the school season are no longer shopping at this point. These families have exited the market, which means less competition. That translates into more opportunities for buyers.
Taking out an entire segment of the housing market provides millennial, single, and baby boomer buyers some breathing room. You’ll likely notice fewer buyers at open houses, which could signal a great opportunity to make an offer.
Motivated sellers want to close by the end of the year
While a home is where an owner lives and makes memories, it is also an investment — and one with tax consequences. A home seller may want to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year.
Buyers might find homeowners looking to make deals so they can close before December 31st and get that tax benefit. Ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close before the end of the year.
Homes for sale near the holidays signal a motivated seller
As the holidays approach, the last thing a homeowner wants is for their sale to be dragging on and interrupting their parties and events.
If a home has not sold by November, and it’s still sitting on the market, that homeowner is likely motivated to be done with the disruptions caused by their home being listed for sale.
Many homes don’t show as well once the landscaping fades
The best time to do a property inspection is in the rain and snow, because the home will be truly exposed for buyers. The same holds true for fall, when flowers die, trees start to shed their leaves, and beautiful landscapes are no longer so lovely.
Scratching the surface of the pretty spring home season and fall reveals home flaws, making it a great time to see each home’s true colors. It’s better to see the home’s flaws before making the offer, instead of being surprised months after you close.
- 5 Biggest Home-Buying Fears (and How to Face Them)
- A 3-Step Plan for Finding and Buying Your Next Home
- Making the Most of an Open House Visit
Originally published October 19, 2015.