It’s one of the most common questions home buyers ask. When is the best time to purchase real estate? The truth is, the timing of your search could impact many aspects of your purchase—including how much you pay. While buyers often focus their attention on the spring market, the ideal time to buy will ultimately depend on your goals.

Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of buying a home during each of the four seasons…

Spring

There’s no time like spring. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the real estate market is full of opportunity. For buyers, that means there’s a wide variety of homes available. If it’s a great selection you’re after, May and June are especially good times to start your search. During these months, inventory is often at its highest.

The biggest potential downside of shopping around during the spring? Competition from other buyers, who tend to be just as interested in browsing the market as you are.

Summer

The summer can be a great time to buy—especially if you have kids. Compared to the hecticness of the school year, the hottest months can mean more free time and a lot less stress.

While July is a popular time to buy, you may start to see some deals in August. Oftentimes, these are homes that didn’t sell in the spring. Remember, true gems can sometimes be overlooked! Though it’s typically quieter than in the spring, the market can sometimes remain competitive through summer. On the bright side, many buyers can find appealing mortgage rates at this time of year!

Fall

Autumn may be a less popular time to buy than spring and summer, but it also comes with plenty of advantages. As the leaves fall, home prices often do, too. There are some real bargains to be found at this time of year, and the statistics prove it!

Late September works particularly well for many buyers, due to attractive price points, good selection, and low competition. Generally speaking, this is a time when sellers need to make a deal sooner rather than later (if they didn’t, many of them would wait for the spring market). As a buyer, that can give you some leverage during the negotiation process.

Winter

While the weather may not make for the most pleasant search, you shouldn’t necessarily discount the coldest season. Consider this. In the winter, there are so many other buyers sitting on the sidelines that you may not face a ton of competition if you dive in.

Like fall sellers, those who put their homes on the market in the winter are often serious about making a sale. Between their need to sell and your lack of competition, you could be looking at a quick, low-stress purchase. One other unexpected benefit is that it may be easier to perform your due diligence. From drafty windows to poor-quality insulation, all kinds of issues come to the fore in winter!

The bottom line

Many buyers believe that timing a purchase is the key to finding the home of their dreams at a price they can afford. That may be the case sometimes, but it’s also true that each season comes with its own home-hunting pros and cons.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with aligning the time of year you choose to purchase a property with your goals and preferences. Having said that, the best time to buy is ultimately whenever you’re ready to do so. With a little help from a knowledgeable local agent, you can achieve the best outcome possible—no matter the season!

Gearing up to buy a home? Reach out to learn how we can help—and what’s available on the local market!

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