“When is the best time to buy a house?”
This is a common question that we get from our clients — and for good reason! Buying a home can be a time-consuming and stressful process. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have as many advantages as possible when you are getting ready to start your home search. There are a lot of ways that you can tip the scales in your favor — and the one that we get the most questions about is whether the time of year is a key factor to consider. This is an especially common question from people who are buying and selling a home at the same time, because they want to have complete security and peace of mind when moving up to a more valuable home.
Unfortunately, there is no real cut-and-dry answer to this question online. Some places will stick very rigidly to the traditional times to buy a home, but other outlets will encourage you to break the mold and start shopping when snow hits the ground. The reason why there is so much controversy online about this answer is because every home buying journey is unique — there is no ironclad rule that fits every scenario.
However, you can still suss out the pros and cons of each season if you have helped with enough home purchases — and at the Keri Shull Team, we help hundreds of families find their dream home every year. Through years of being a top-selling real estate team in the Washington DC area, we have built the expertise that we need to determine the upsides and downsides of selling at different times of the year.
It’s important to note that this advice can differ slightly from year to year. At the time of writing, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated some changes to most real estate agents’ home buying strategies. Despite some COVID-19 myths that other teams might be spreading, however, the question of whether you should buy a house now or wait until later might not be as simple as you think.
With that being said, read below to learn the pros and cons of buying a home at different times of the year!
Buying a House During Spring or Summer
Most home owners tend to list their homes for sale during the warmer months of the year. With more houses on the market, more properties available to tour, and more open houses to attend, there are more chances to see as many homes as possible. For many people, this is an attractive benefit to buying during the summer and spring, because they believe that seeing more homes will make it easier to find their dream house.
On top of this, longer days during spring and summer means that there are more hours to look for homes. It might be dark by the time that people get off work during the winter, but there is usually a chance for you to see houses after office hours by the time summer rolls around.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some downsides to looking for a home during the summer or spring, however. Depending on your location, the warmer months can quickly become the sweltering months — and hunting for houses when it is scorching hot outside can be incredibly tiring. Furthermore, many choose to take vacations during the summer, which can limit the number of people who are selling a home when you are looking to buy.
You’re also competing with other people who are trying to buy a new home. Spring and summer are almost always the most popular time to buy a house, so you will likely be going up against many other home searchers. This can reduce your leverage and bargaining power — and this can be even worse if you are looking in an area that is already a seller’s market. If you decide to buy during this time, make sure to learn how you can beat out other buyers and win a bidding war!
Buying a House During Fall or Winter
Fewer people choose to look for a home during autumn and winter. In part, this is because cooler weather and shorter days can make it difficult to host home showings and open houses, and fewer home owners list their homes during these months. However, there are a lot of pros that come with buying a home during these months.
First, you are almost always going to be competing with fewer home searchers. This means that you will have more leverage when it comes to negotiating a price that you want. In seller’s markets like Washington DC’s hottest neighborhoods, it’s vital to take any advantage that you can get so you can buy a home for the lowest possible price.
Secondly, the people who are selling their homes during fall and winter are often very highly motivated. When you make a deal with a motivated home seller, it increases the chances that you’ll be able to get to the closing table quickly, rather than going through a long, drawn-out home sale.
The main con to buying a home in the fall or winter is that there tend to be fewer people selling their home, which can cause two drawbacks. First, it can make it harder to find a home that you love, especially if you aren’t working with a good agent. Second, it can actually lead to the seller having more leverage, which could mean that you pay more during the home buying process.
Verdict: The Best Time to Buy a House
Ultimately, there’s not really a right or wrong answer to the question of when to buy your home. This is partially because there are pros and cons to each season — but it’s also because the time when you buy just isn’t as important now as it used to be. With modern, hyper-focused home search tools and great strategies, you can find the right home quickly no matter what time of the year you are looking.
So how can you get the best price for your new home? By making sure that you are working with the best possible real estate team!
At the Keri Shull Team, we are on the cutting edge of home buying technology and strategy — our unique team composition and powerful negotiation tactics are sure to help you get the right home faster, cheaper, and with less hassle.
One particular way that we help home buyers save money is by showing you how to find off-market homes. These are properties that are not available on the open market — and if you play your cards right, they can be a great way to get your dream home for an amazing price!
If you want to learn more about how the right real estate team can get you more money, in less time, and with less stress during your home sale, then contact the Keri Shull Team today! All you need to do is click here to schedule a time for a free, no-hassle Home Value Consultation today!