The four seasons: Which season is best for homebuyers?
When is the best time to buy a house? For some, this can be a stressful issue, as no one wants to enter the market when it may be better to remain on the sidelines.There's no easy answer regarding when to begin a home search, because each season comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses, much like the weather and its changing seasons.
Here are a few tips on what to be aware of when conducting a listing search in each season of the year so you have an idea of what to expect with each:
After months of cold weather and being cooped up inside, people are eager to get out and emerge from winter hibernation mode. This same principle applies to the housing market.
Spring is generally considered to be the official kickoff to the homebuying season. In short, it’s an excellent time to start looking because new listings tend to pick up in volume. Any seasoned real estate agent knows this is the time to suggest their clients start their home search in earnest and head to open houses and private showings.
The only caveat to this time of year is the need for speed: Many homes for sale don’t tend to last more than a week or so, especially in “hot” markets, so homebuyers are wise to act quickly.
According to HousingWire, summer is usually the most popular time of year for homebuyers. You can understand why, given most kids are done with school, vacation season is underway and foot traffic rises. This makes it an appealing time for sellers hoping to sell high, which could be problematic for buyers on a budget.
Having said that, Realtor.com explains home prices don't always heat up when the weather does. Because inventory usually swells, buyers have a greater variety of options to choose from, which may not be the case when temperatures eventually go the other direction.
Leaf peepers come out of the woodwork when late September and October roll around, but not so much when it comes to would-be buyers. With the dip in demand, October is considered the best month to buy on the cheap, with the typical homebuyer spending 2.6 percent less than market value, per RealtyTrac analysis.
"For buyers looking for a better deal, fall is a great time to make offers," Joanne Douglas, a Realtor based in New York City, explained to Realtor.com.
It's the time of year when Americans hunker down, grin and bear it with school back in session and work deadlines fast approaching. This part of the year tends to see a pullback in both buyers and listings.
However, as the Washington Post reports, buyers often have an advantage when properties go up for sale, because it may be an indication that the seller needs to offload their property quickly due to something unexpected that's come up. Eager to sell, owners may be more willing to entertain bids lower than the asking price.
Whether the weather you prefer is hot, cold or somewhere in between, keeping these factors in mind can help you gauge the market and get a sense of when the time is just right.