Buying a home is a significant financial decision. Just like finding the best deal on a car or that new kitchen appliance, you can also shop around for home prices. If you know the best time to buy a house, you’re more likely to get the ideal home for a better price.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a House?
Many factors affect housing prices and market trends, so there’s no clear cut answer. If you live in a climate where the weather stays relatively stable year-round, for instance, prices may see less fluctuation. Neighborhoods with families and school-age children will see more significant variations; families want to move during summer months and are eager to sell during this timeframe. The first step is to know the market conditions and selling trends for your local area.
Typically, though, real estate sees predictable ebbs and flows throughout the year. According to sales data, late summer and early fall are the best times to purchase a home, typically late August or September. During this time, there is still ample inventory available, but sellers are becoming anxious to sell, and prices are falling. Temperatures are dropping, kids are headed back to school, and sellers are more willing to negotiate and get their property sold before the holidays hit.
It’s the ideal combination of inventory and price. While you may not have the abundant choices available in spring, you’ll still have plenty of options, and you’ll spend less than if you purchase in May or June.
Of course, buyers who are looking for the best possible price should wait until the winter months to purchase a home. While inventory may be lower and you’ll have fewer homes to choose from, the prices are lower than any other time of the year. Data shows that home prices are the most affordable in November and December.
Plus, winter home buying offers a much-overlooked advantage: snow, wind, and rain. These harsh conditions are perfect for home inspections; leaks and roof damage can’t be ignored in winter weather, and you’ll be able to see all the home’s flaws.
The Best Day of the Week to Buy a House
Okay, we have established that time of year matters when negotiating a home price. But does the day of the week matter, too? Yes, according to industry experts.
To get the best deal, make an offer on Monday. Why? Well, sellers have just come off a weekend – typically the busiest home-buying days – and have yet to receive a contract. Come Monday morning, both the real estate agent and the seller are ready for some serious negotiation. Sellers are nervous, and they’re motivated to get the home sold before another week passes.
When to Avoid House Shopping (If You Can Wait)
Spring means booming home sales. While this is good news for sellers, it means more competition, longer wait times, and higher prices for buyers. Traditionally, springtime means more inventory on the real estate market, but it also means an increase in interested buyers. More competition means bidding wars and a backlog of closings for lenders, so don’t expect anything to happen right away. Nationwide, homes sell for an average of about 25% over asking price in May and June.
Of course, springtime is a popular home-buying season for many reasons. The weather is warming, and the newness of spring encourages homeowners to make changes, too. Families often list home in the spring, hoping to move and settle in a new location before the following school year begins. Moreover, summer holidays are the perfect time to take time off of work, move into a new home, and work on improvement projects.
The Bottom Line: The Best Time to Buy a House
The “best time of year to buy a home” depends mainly on what you’re looking for. If it’s options you’re after, springtime may be best: you’ll have a wide variety of inventory from which to choose. However, you may pay a much higher price.
However, if you can wait until fall or winter, you’ll still have options available, but you’ll have the upper hand in negotiations. Sellers are much more willing to negotiate with buyers as the weather cools. For savvy investors, patience is a virtue that pays.