If you’ve spent the past few weeks or even months looking at homes for sale but haven’t found the one that’s just right for you, we have good news. Fall is actually one of the best times for homebuyers to shop.
The deals are better now
Home prices tend to peak in June and July. In fact, “May, June, July and August―account for 40% of an average year’s total home-selling volume,” Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance suggests at HousingWire.com.
Not only does the volume of sales decrease when fall arrives, but winter and fall home prices inch down as well. Remember, there is often a difference between the list price and sales price of a home.
So, while list prices dip less than half a percent in fall, sales prices drop nearly 3 percent, on average, nationwide, from summer home prices, according to a study published at MarketWatch.com.
That’s a savings of about $9,230 on the average priced home in Madison right now.
The best time to get a deal on a home is during October, according to a RealtyTrac study. In fact, the study of more than 30 million home sales found that homebuyers who purchase in October pay 2.6 percent less than average full market value.
Coming in at second and third as ideal times to buy a home are December, January and February. If you want to save money, don’t buy a home in April because during that month homebuyers spend 1.2 percent more than the home’s market value, according to the study.
First-timers and boomerang buyers – don’t wait!
Boomerang buyers – those who lost a home to foreclosure during the recession – are now eligible to buy again and millions will be heading into the housing market, according to Sue Woodward, at HousingWire.com.
If you are among them, or the millions of first-time buyers, the fall housing market couldn’t be more tailor-made for you.
Not only is there a good chance that you’ll save money, but there is less competition for homes in fall than in summer. Many summer homebuyers are trying to time their purchase while the kids are out of school. Now that they’re back to class, interest dies down, meaning fewer buyers competing for the same homes, or in the same price range.
Here’s the best news, though: Starter-home inventories tend to increase, about 7 percent on average, over spring and summer home inventories, according to a Trulia.com study.
Sellers get antsy
It’s challenging to tell a seller whose home is still on the market to expect a slowdown in buyer activity. It makes them nervous and, if there is a compelling reason for them to move, they’ll get particularly antsy.
This discomfort makes many home sellers more amenable to price negotiations
Now, this doesn’t mean you should come in with a rock-bottom offer, but depending on the seller’s motivation, there may be room to negotiate the price or contract terms.
There are several other things to consider about fall home shopping:
All ancillary services tend to slow down as well – This means title and mortgage reps will have more time for you.
Certain contractors offer discounts – Movers, air conditioning professionals and pool contractors and servicers are heading into their slow season. This makes them more amenable to offering discounts to homebuyers who require their services.
Fall home shopping is better than winter shopping – Although landscapes may be turning color, the home’s exterior features aren’t yet covered in snow. And, unlike summer shopping, the days are cooler and more conducive to leisurely shopping.
Don’t put off your plans to buy a home until next spring. Interest rates may rise and you won’t get the same deals you’ll get this fall. Take a look at what’s on the market in Madison right now.