Whether you’re thinking about buying a house for sale in Los Angeles or Milwaukee, you probably imagined yourself strolling to your first showing under the cheerful summer sun. You may have even imagined little sparrows tweeting in the garden of your dream home as you stepped outside to check the quality of the deck.
This scenario is certainly a possibility. However, with all its benefits, summer isn’t necessarily the best time to start your search.
In fact, fall may be the ideal time for home buying. From less competition to better deals on home prices, I’ve compiled the top 5 reasons to start your search when the days start getting darker.
1. The Summer Home-Buying Frenzy Will Be Over
This summer, the real estate market was more competitive than ever before. Inventory was low, even though new houses were constantly listed, and sale prices were higher than before. Consumers were buying at a rapid pace; from January to September 2018, houses remained an average of 19 days on the market.
Spending countless hours researching homes only to find them sold is a huge discouragement to homebuyers. It’s hard enough to find the right home in the first place. Unfortunately, in the summer months, homebuyers often find themselves back to the drawing board.
This kind of fast-paced, stress-filled shopping environment is something to be avoided—especially if waiting a few months to get started is your only trade-off.
2. You’ll Run Into Less Competition
There are many reasons most people start the home buying process in the warmer months.
Families, who buy the largest, most expensive homes, often go house hunting in the summer, when kids are out of school. Even singles, couples buying a house before marriage, and childless spouses like to purchase homes in the spring, imagining that they will have time to get comfortable in their new residences before the full chill of winter hits.
But during fall, there simply aren’t as many people shopping for their dream homes, which means it’s the perfect time for flexible buyers to get started.
Without a crowd of competition during showings, you won’t feel as pressured to get in and out of houses; you’ll be able to take your time. With the freedom to thoroughly examine and compare houses, you will be less likely to make a hasty choice.
3. Sale Prices Drop In Fall
Home price is one of the most important factors home buyers grapple with. And in a seller’s market like we have today, home prices are inching up to heights a lot of homebuyers struggle to afford.
But autumn may offer homebuyers a break from worrying about their wallets.
While listing prices only drop a little when the leaves start to turn red, home sale prices (those are the final prices homebuyers pay, in case you’re a first-time homebuyer) do fall a substantial amount. In fact, in metro areas, sales prices drop nearly 3%—which amounts to a lot of money when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
4. Home Sellers Are Worn Out
If a home is still on the market after the rush of summer, there’s a good chance the home sellers are worried about their chances of selling the home. They have probably been let down a few times, adding to their anxiety.
The home sellers may have imagined they would move out by fall, and by winter be snug in their new home across the country. Truth be told, they’d do almost anything to sell their old house tomorrow.
With more pliable home sellers, you may be able to negotiate more on home prices and take longer finding an agreement that works for you.
5. You’ll Get A Realistic View Of Homes And Their Neighborhoods
Even Hill House looks good in the middle of summer. When the sun is shining and birds are flitting around, it’s hard to notice siding that is a little worse for wear.
Without the sun shining so bright overhead, you’ll be able to spot a roof that needs work. If it rains, you’ll be able to notice a less-than-functional drainage situation. Without the smell of roses to cloud your sense of smell, you may catch a whiff of a local sewage plant you weren’t aware of. You’ll be able to see the covered above-ground pool that looked so welcoming when it was photographed in the middle of a heat wave.
Neighborhood feel is also an important consideration. In the summer, a lot of families are on vacation. They return in fall, filling the neighborhood with kids, dogs, and noise that neighbors hear on a regular basis. AirBnBs are less popular in autumn, so there won’t be as many strangers walking around.
With exposure to the real inhabitants of the neighborhood, you’ll get a feel for what living there will really be like.
Inspired to start your search? Chat with me today, and you may find yourself scheduled for a showing tomorrow.