Spring may be the most popular time of the year to buy a new home, but is it the best time of year to go home shopping? While the best time to browse real estate is when you need a new home, there are advantages to shopping in each season. As you prepare to buy a home, learn what to expect when home shopping in spring, summer, fall, and winter.
What to Expect When House Hunting in Spring
As winter ends and weather starts to warm up, people emerge from their houses. The same flurry of activity holds true for house shopping. Suddenly, there are many more homes for sale on the market, and many more interested home shoppers.
Sellers who took their listings off-market during the winter may renew listings now. Nice weather means homeowners can make improvements, so in the spring real estate market you're likely to see high-quality homes listed at market-rate prices.
More inventory is offset by higher competition for premium homes and higher prices. Sellers are optimistic that they will be able to sell their home before summer, so they may be less likely to accept a lowball offer.
What to Expect When House Hunting in Summer
The summer market is similar to the spring real estate market, except that fewer houses will come online. Homes that were listed early in the spring and have not sold may see their prices decrease; sellers may be more likely to compromise on price now. Since there are still new homes coming on the market, there are lots to see and do.
Many buyers want to close on homes for sale before summer, so the children can start at a new school. As summer stretches on, expect to see fewer homes for sale and less competition for premium properties.
What to Expect When House Hunting in Fall
The real estate market starts to slow down in fall. With children in school, families who were considering a move may put it on the back burner since the timing is no longer ideal. This means fewer crowds at open houses and an easier time getting into showings for listed real estate.
You will notice fewer new listings of homes for sale; here again, prices may drop. At this point, home sellers can become extremely motivated to sell their homes before the end of the year. It's bargaining time!
What to Expect When House Hunting in Winter
In areas with four seasons, fewer people list their homes for sale in the winter. Those who do put their houses on the market in wintertime tend to do so because they need to sell their home quickly and they cannot wait for an ideal real estate market. Now you really have a buyer's advantage. The caveat here is that homes on the market now may be in fair condition and require a lot of work: fixer-uppers, in other words. Don't let that deter you from house hunting, because you never know what you will find. There may be a diamond in the rough.
Ultimately no matter what season you decide to look for a home, there are pros and cons. When you understand what to expect in each season, you can evaluate properties, understand trends, and make the right decision with less stress.