Is Fall the Best Time to Buy A House?

When transitioning from one season to another, it can sometimes be more economical to purchase certain clothing items at the end of their season. For example, buying sweaters as winter moves into spring or swimsuits in the late summer. However, can this same logic be used when purchasing a new home? The answer is yes! So when would be the best season to purchase a home?

The answer: the fall. As temperatures cool and trees shed their leaves, enough factors break in the buyer’s favor to make it the number one season for home buying. Here are 5 reasons why:

Less Competition

The late spring and summer months typically have a higher population of homebuyers with children in order to minimize disruption to their school year.  If applicable, families would prefer them to start at a new school on the first day, not midyear. As the fall season approaches and school is back in session, fewer buyers could be bidding on the same houses you’re interested in and you may have more negotiating power when you find your dream home. Of course, this can also work both ways: Sellers might not want to uproot their families in the middle of the school year either. But while this brings housing inventory down, you might just find exactly what you want in a home.

Sellers Are More Motivated

Spring and summer are the high seasons for home buying: Days are longer, the weather’s nice, and open houses are well-attended. This means sellers can be a bit more selective when choosing offers. But as the calendar flips to September, sellers become a bit more anxious. The idea of trying to sell during the holiday season or, more likely, waiting until the next year, is disheartening. So these sellers can become, in a sense, settlers. They may be willing to reduce their prices and conditions just to be able to sell their home before winter comes. There is some variation by region, but overall, in the U.S., prices for homes peak by the end of August. Buyers can use this increased motivation to their advantage, offering less and asking for more during negotiations.

More Revealing Views

Landscaping, while visually appealing, can conceal numerous flaws on a home’s exterior.  When the leaves have dropped and flowers have faded, various exterior concerns can emerge. From peeling paint jobs to worn areas in the roof or foundation cracks, everything will become more obvious in the fall season.

Purchasing High-Cost Items May Be Cheaper

Buying a home also means furnishing a home. This means major purchases for many home buyers. Larger items such as kitchen appliances, lawn equipment, and washer & dryers can add up quickly. As most of these big-ticket items tend to go on sale between September – November, buying your home in the fall can be ideal if you are looking to purchase any of these items. If you need to install new carpet/flooring or re-paint your new home, it can also be a good time to save on labor for these services.

Perfect Time to Settle In

As the days get shorter and cooler in the fall season, we tend to spend more time indoors. Make use of that time to cozy up your new space and get acclimated to your home. Fall is also a great time to settle in because you have time to prepare for winter before it gets too cold. As we get snow and ice here in northern Illinois, knowing your neighborhood can be helpful. Is it hilly? Could it be tough to get in and out if the roads were icy? Plus, you will have time to winterize your home and complete any projects before it gets too cold.

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