What is the best time of the year to buy a home?

Answer

Fall might be famous for jack-o-lanterns and crisp mornings, but there’s another reason why this time of year is something to look forward to. Fall is the best and cheapest time of year to buy a home, and you have the chance to rake in significant savings (along with raking the leaves in your new front yard).

RealtyTrac conducted research on real estate sales since 2000, and that study concludes that home buyers get a 2.6% discount below the estimated market value during the autumn season. The number might seem small, but that’s a discount of $7,800 on a $300,000 home.

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want an extra $7,800 in his or her pocket.

What makes fall so special for home buying?

Fall is a fantastic time for home buying for several key reasons. First, as we mentioned, autumn reminds us that holidays are around the corner. That leaves many people focused on holiday shopping and planning family dinners and gatherings, which is an easy way to get distracted from the real estate market.

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Distractions from buying a home during this time of year cause homeowners to drop their prices, especially if they’re looking to get out of their current home before winter strikes. This scenario leaves a lot of affordable housing options on the market, and a potential treasure trove of open houses to tour and explore.

Second, a lot of families are also focused on their children and school activities. This can push the thought of home buying to the back burner as football season, cheer leading, and homework takes top priority.

And third, sometimes people just aren’t motivated to buy during this time of year. They know that winter is around the corner, and they’d rather put off signing on the dotted line until springtime arrives.

What motivates sellers to drop prices during the fall?

Homeowners also have their reasons to drop the sale price of their home during autumn. A lot of times, this is a reflection of homes being on the market since summertime—they’re looking for more bites, and know that their window of opportunity to sell their home is quickly closing in.

Sellers are also aware that there’s less competition to buy a home during the fall, and they need to give potential home buyers a good reason to put in a bid. Slightly dropping the price point of their home can help draw in more buyers and close on a deal.

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