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How to Get in Your Dream House Quicker

Why springtime is best

Spring is typically considered home-buying season but you can also expect to find good deals all year long, especially during the periods of time when the market is considered to be slower.

Prices tend to be lowest in January and highest in summer;  if you can wait to buy a home until January and February, you have a better chance of locking down a good deal.  Of course, the best time to buy can depend heavily on your location in the United States.  Take a close look at the trends in your area before buying.  Buying in spring is best in an area of the country that experiences a break in the weather during those months.  This springtime pattern is even more extreme in markets with harsher winters: in Chicago and Minneapolis, for example, almost twice as many homes are listed in May and June as in December and January.  More temperate markets, like Miami and Tampa, have barely any noticeable seasonal pattern at all.

In many areas, during springtime, you’ll have your pick of the available homes, plus some good summer weather on the horizon to make for a seamless move-in.

Buying a home in winter

Buying a home in the winter could get you the biggest savings, if you’re willing to shop from a smaller pool of homes for sale.  Of course, in this scenario, you run the risk of not being able to find a home with all the features you’re hoping for.  Research finds homes listed in late December sell for 1.5 percent less than average, however, if you shop at the end of summer, you’ll hit the sweet spot between selection and bargains.

Whenever you shop, it’s typical to expect a home-buying search of about four-and-a-half months.  During that time it’s likely you’ll attend 2.6 open houses and 4.4 tours, if you want to get specific.  COVID-19 may mean quicker sales and a shorter search process.

The question of determining the best time to buy a house for you will depend on whether selection or price is most important to you.  Depending on your answer, you could be looking to shop either in winter or spring.

What about price cuts?

Unfortunately, there is no science to price cuts, no matter what season you shop in.  Sellers have different priorities; some want to get top dollar for their home, others need to sell because of a change in their lives and may be more open to negotiation or a price cut.  But regardless of the time of year, analysis shows that a home is less likely to sell at full listing price each additional month it remains on the market.  Talk with us at Heller Coley Reed about when and how much to offer to secure the best deal in your situation:  Sometimes, waiting pays off.

Picking the best time to sell your home

It stands to reason that if you’re the one selling your home, you can also look at the research of buying to see when the best month is for you.  Homes listed early in the month of May sell for more on average than homes listed other times of year.  But if you list a month sooner, in April, that’s when homes sell the fastest.  Homes that hit the market in early May sold for almost 1 percent more than expected, or roughly $2,100 more on the nation’s typical home but if speed is what you care about, nationwide, homes listed for sale anytime in April sell one full week faster than average.

What about the stock market?

While there might be some science to watching the market and timing your purchase based on how the economy is doing, it can also be a recipe for disaster.  Even the experts make mistakes and a home is the most valuable asset that most people will ever own, so it’s especially important not to gamble with it.

Instead, it’s more likely that your first home purchase will coincide with a major life event:  Think marriage or having your first child.  Research shows buyers from different generations will have other considerations, such as factoring in their retirement savings.

Before you get too stressed considering all of the potential factors that could affect when you buy, it’s best not to overthink things.  The best time to buy a home is when it’s the right time for you. That may sound cliché, but at the end of the day, only you know what your financial situation looks like, your time horizon, and your risk tolerance.  Buying a home, especially for the first time, is both exciting and frightening, but ultimately, it’s an investment in your future and the beginning of a new phase in your life.

You heard it from the experts: The best time to buy a house is when you decide you’re ready.  And always ready to help you in your search and through the buying process are the professional and expert agents at Heller Coley Reed.  Call 240.800.5155 or email today.