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Does Time of Year Matter When Shopping for a Home?

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Marlene Sheard

To catch great deals, timing is everything. This theory especially holds true when you are shopping for a home.

While spring and summer are touted as the optimal time to buy a home, some might argue the fall may actually be the best time for a better deal.

According to RealtyTrac’s analysis of more than 32 million home sales over 15 years, buyers paid 2.6% below estimated market value in October for their homes. The National Association of Realtors reports that year after year, closings in January tend to show a dip in prices, suggesting that buyers who made offers in November and December got the best deals.

In the spring, inventory levels are at their highest but so is the competition amongst buyers. While the fall may offer fewer homes for sale there is less competition. Many buyers simply drop out of the market and decide to wait another year because of fall commitments like school, sporting events, and the holidays.

Fall buyers may also have more leverage, as listings with longer days on market may lead to sellers who are more anxious to strike a deal. Keeping a house in show-ready condition is exhausting on a seller. Plus, many buyers and sellers want to be settled in their new home in time to carve the turkey at their holiday feast. So, spending your time shopping the real estate market instead of the mall could be the better bargain this fall.

In the end, every market is different. There are a few ways to determine if now might be the best time for you to buy or sell your home. First, utilizing tools such as online calculators, can help you decide if you can comfortably afford your new home. Second, consult a local real estate professional and a mortgage banker to help you determine which time of year is best for you.

By: Marlene Sheard

Marlene is a mortgage marketing representative for Ameris Bank and previous sales and marketing president for her local Home Builders Association. She enjoys sharing her experiences for the buying, selling, and financing of homes.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All loans subject to credit approval.