While spring and summer get all the attention as the busiest seasons for real estate, fall and winter are actually the best time to buy a home, and here’s why:
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1. Lower Home Prices
According to a RealtyTrac analysis of over 32 million homes for sale over a 15-year period, the best time to get a good deal on a home is October. In fact, the data showed that home buyers who closed in October paid 2.6% below the home’s estimated market value. Other best winter months to buy a home include February, December, and January.
To get an idea on a 2.6% savings, a $300,000 home would have a $7,800 discount. The absolute BEST day found to buy a home nationwide was October 8, which averaged a whopping 10.8% below the estimated market value.
Since this data looks at the close date and most homes close 30-45 days after an offer has been accepted, the logical conclusion is that August and September are when home buyers are finding better deals and going under contract.
The RealtyTrac report also broke down the data by Metro area, and the best day to buy a home in Columbus is February 23rd, so home buyers in Columbus are getting the best deals on homes for sale during the Holiday Season.
Our own Central Ohio Real Estate Market Reports show this trend as well. Each year, home prices in the winter trend down.The best day to buy a home in Columbus is February 23rd
2. Lower Competition
Usually, by the start of Autumn, many home buyers have found a home. Factor in the new school year, holidays, shorter days, and cold weather, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for less competition on your dream home. Even if people didn’t find a home during the summer, many will drop out of the market until the start of the new year.
Our market reports show a seasonal difference in the number of Days On Market (DOM) for homes in Central Ohio. Even in our current seller’s market, homes take about 10 days longer on average to sell in the winter months. This means you will be less likely to find yourself in a multiple offer situation and you may be able to have more time to consider a home and not get outbid.
Plus, it can be easier to schedule home inspections and appraisals in the fall, since there will be less demand for their services.
Fall and Winter home buyers will also find that sellers are more motivated to sell. If their home sat on the market all summer, they may be worn out and ready to sell. They will probably also be anxious to move before the holiday season.
Sellers who list in the fall and winter may need to move ASAP and are ready to make a deal. This gives you leverage, especially if you have your financing in order and can close quickly.
4. Tax Credits & Bargains
By closing at the end of the fiscal year, you may be able to take advantage of tax deductions on items such as closing costs, property tax, and mortgage interest.
If you close on your home in the fall and are in need of new appliances, you’re in luck! According to Consumer Reports, major appliances – stoves, refrigerators, washers, and dryers – are at their lowest price in December. That’s also the best time to buy your new TV or cookware.
New construction homes also tend to go on sale in the fall and winter. Builders haven’t been doing many incentives over the last couple of years, but they are really rolling them out this year. Usually, builders offer attractive incentives during the fall and winter. This is especially the case for their “quick move-in homes” or neighborhood closeouts. Sometimes the best incentives are found during the end of December into January.
5. More Fall Inventory
Low inventory has plagued the market for a while now. If that’s kept you on the sidelines, the best time for you to buy could be the last week of September. This is when inventory tends to be at its highest, but we also have the seasonal slow-down kicking in. Homes left over from the late summer (when the market begins to shift) are ripe for price reductions and below-list-price offers. Early fall is usually ideal for buyers who want to capitalize on the confluence of factors to have more options at more reasonable prices.
Let’s Find Your Central Ohio Home
With lower home prices, less competition, motivated sellers, and money-saving bargains, it’s easy to see why fall and winter are great times to buy a home.
If you’re looking for a deal on a Columbus area home, I’m ready to help you find and purchase your home. Let’s get started on your home search so that you can be home for the holidays!