Up here in North Dakota, a lot of things tend to slow down (or come to a screeching halt) as winter approaches. That includes the idea of shopping for a new home and the inevitable moving required after closing. But fall is actually a great time to be house hunting… most notably because that’s when the deals are ripe for buyers willing to make a cold-weather move.
Falling Temps Mean Falling Prices
The spring market blooms right along with the flowers, but the fall market often dwindles with the leaves — but this slower pace is good for buyers. If you’re in the market for a new home, fall is a great time to pick up the pace, as homes that have been sitting on the market are prone to price drops and deal making. Sellers tend to put their homes on the market in the spring, often listing their homes too high right out of the gate. This could result in price reductions throughout the spring and summer months. Sellers have fewer chances to capture buyers after Labor Day. By October, you are likely to find desperate sellers and prices below a home’s market value.
Fewer Buyers to Compete With
Families who want to be in a new home by the beginning of the school season are no longer shopping at this point, as are the people unwilling to layer up to make the move this time of year. That translates into less competition and more opportunities for buyers like you. You’ll likely notice fewer buyers at open houses, which could signal a great opportunity to make an offer.
Sellers Need to Close by End of Year
A house is a home first and foremost… but coming in as a close second, a house is an investment — one with tax consequences. A seller may want to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year, so you might find homeowners looking to make deals so they can close before December 31st. Here’s your chance to make a great investment and start making new memories in a new home. TIP: Ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close before the end of the year.
Holidays Tend to Motivate Sellers
As the holidays approach, sellers are eager to close so they can move on to planning their parties and events in their new home… just like you are eager to put down roots in your new home. If a home has not sold by November, the seller is likely motivated to be done with the disruptions caused by listing a home for sale. There’s enough going on this time of year, and getting bogged down with selling is often the last thing a seller wants. Here’s your time to make a good offer and relieve some stress for the sellers while you get a great deal.
Harsh Weather Shows More Flaws
The dreary fall and winter months tend to reveal flaws, making them a great time to see a home’s true colors. It’s better to see the home’s flaws before making the offer, instead of being surprised months after you close. In fact, the best time to do a property inspection is in the rain and snow, because any major issues are more likely to be exposed.