It’s the season when neighborhoods across America bloom with a fresh crop of “For Sale” signs. Summer has traditionally been the best time to buy a home and therefore the accepted time to put your house on the market. Only then can you be assured of an influx of eager buyers.
Trends from 2014 show that inventory starts to increase in spring, reaches a peak around June/July, begins to dwindle by August and is lowest in December. For families with children, the search for a new home often has to wait for schools to close and for summer vacation to start. No necessity to factor in the school calendar.
The top time to go home shopping will vary somewhat depending on the location. For example: the DFW Metroplex was off to a slow start this year because of the record-breaking storms in May. In other parts of the country they’re recovering from a vicious winter when home sales slowed to a crawl.
So just when is the best time to buy a home? If you are trying to decide whether to wait for the early frenzy to fade or start next week, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages for each season.
Pros and Cons for buying in peak season.
• There are many more homes on the market. More homes, more choice. Your chances of finding you dream home just got better.
• Summertime is a better time to spot any possible issues the roof, air conditioning, and pool are all easier to check out in sunny weather.
• Summertime moves wont clash with the school calendar so if you’ve got kids, moving the family is easier.
• More competition. More buyers,
• Busy industry professionals such as agents, lenders, and home inspectors.
• Fixed asking prices. With competition, sellers are less likely to go for lowball offers or contingencies.
Buying in the Off Season
Winter signals a slowdown in real estate sales. Less homes for sale means you’ll more as likely need to be willing to compromise. Other pros and cons of buying in the off season are…
• Less competition – with fewer buyers around you could find a deal.
• If you’re looking for property as an investment and not a “forever” home, the off-season is a smart time to buy. Investors can often find foreclosures and REOs during the off-season.
• Sellers are naturally more motivated, making it a great time to negotiate.
• You could get a bargain. A house can be on the market in off-season because of a critical event, a death in the family or a sudden job change.
• It’s a hassle. Bad weather can make driveways, walkways, and stairways hazardous.
• Holiday season commitments can slow down your search.
• In a snowy area, you can’t see the yard until the snow melts.
• Home inspections are more difficult and snow can hide issues.
• Homes on the market during the slow seasons may not have sold in the high season. You need to know “why” if the property’s been on the market a while.
The very best time to buy a home is always when it’s the best time for you. Looking for a perfect fit? Summertime always has more options. Still, the bargain of a lifetime could be found be in the dreary months of the fall and winter season.