Conventional wisdom says spring and summer are the best times to buy or sell a home.
The curb appeal of fresh-blooming flowers! Natural light streaming in through windows! And, oh, the inventory!
Yes, those factors are driving forces behind many people say spring and summer are the best for buying and selling. But let’s face it, people have reasons to buy and sell homes all year long, whether a job transfer or a marriage. For people without kids, it’s not crucial to get settled before school starts, which is commonly seen as a driving factor in hot spring and summer sales.
Reasons Fall is a Good Time to Sell a Home
So if you didn’t catch the warm weather wave, don’t despair…check out these reasons that fall is still a great time to buy or sell a home.
Buyers Are Serious.
Spring and summer bring out the lookie-loos, but when you sell your home in the fall, you’re more liable to be talking to serious buyers, says Cedric Stewart, residential sales consultant for Entourage RG at Keller Williams in Washington, D.C.
“Sellers are less likely to have excess traffic in their open house from folks looking to walk off calories after Sunday brunch and won’t be bombarded with appointment requests by people who are merely curious.”
It’s Easier to Get Good Help.
Those contractors who wouldn’t give you the time of day for your small project last spring? They might be a whole lot more interested in taking your call now that the crazy busy season is over. That can yield better service and potentially better prices.
“You can also advantage of end-of-summer closeouts and pre-holiday deals to save money on appliances, décor and other elements to spruce up your house,” notes Madison White of Washington Capital Partners.
Buyers Might Be Less Picky.
With less inventory, buyers might overlook some flaws that would send them running with more houses available.
“If your home has less-desirable features, like being on a main road or is in need of renovations, you may be able to sell faster when there is less competition,” says Mariko Baerg of Bridgewell Real Estate Group.
Strong staging can help cover many blemishes, and people go crazy for pumpkins, cozy candles and other trappings of fall.
Reasons Fall is a Good Time to Buy a Home
Looking to buy in the fall? You’ve probably heard summer is the best time to buy a house. That might be true if getting your kids enrolled into a school is your top concern, but there are plenty of benefits to shopping int he fall.
Less Competition = Less Pressure + Better Prices.
Those aren’t just the leaves falling. Often the prices are too, says Jackie Hinton, a real estate broker for Center Coast Realty in Chicago. That’s because with fewer buyers, you’re less likely to be competing in a multiple offer scenario.
“Sellers are typically more motivated to sell during this time of year since they may have a reason they have to move now, like a job transfer,” she points out. In addition, some homes might linger throughout the fall because they didn’t sell when they were on the market during the summer. That makes a more interested seller, who is probably going to consider a more reasonable offer than they otherwise might.
“When houses are not flying off the market as quickly and there is less competition, you may not have to give up inspections, and you can sleep on your decision instead of feeling pressured to decide within hours if a property is the right house for you,” explains Fallanne Jones with The Property Girls Team of Keller Williams in Rochester, N.Y.“You may be able to ask the sellers for help with closing costs or other concessions.”
You’ll Get More Attention.
With fewer people at open houses, you’ll be the belle of the ball. Agents are more liable to be available to answer your questions and help you find that house that fits your needs. They are as eager to make the sale as you are to find your dream home.
Also in the fall, inspectors, attorneys and everyone else involved in the transaction will be less overwhelmed and able to give you more attention, says Jones.
“That all can add up to a quicker closing,” she said.
Moving companies might cut you a deal, too, since they won’t have as many clients.
You May Reap Tax Benefits.
Buyers who purchase a home in the fall can apply federal tax deductions related to the home’s purchase when they file in 2019, says Tripti Kasal, senior vice president of residential sales at Baird Warner.
“If they wait until the following year, they’ll have to wait another 12 months before those deductions go into effect,” she says, giving one more reason to get the transaction done before the holidays roll around.