Looking to Buy a House? Wait Until August.
By Karissa Elgersma, Realtor
Have you ever asked a realtor: “When is the best time to buy a house?” Did you also receive an enthusiastic, but not at all helpful answer like “NOW!” Well, I’m here to debunk the myth that anytime is a great time to buy… and my vote is always in August. Here’s why:
Less buyer competition
Most experts would agree that waiting until November and December are the best times to buy a house, with it being the off-season and a lot less buyers looking during the winter months and holidays. But for those of us who can’t or don’t want to wait until then, August is a unique month because it wraps up the “on-season” of real estate, but precedes the new buyers starting their search in the fall. Most of the year’s spring buyers have already found a house by August, or if not, they are officially deciding to “call off” the house hunt until trying again next spring.
I have had lots of buyers spend their entire spring and summer looking at houses and putting in offers that were rejected over and over again until they stuck it out until August, finally getting that accepted offer! If you are worried about the heavy competition of other buyers, needing to offer over-asking price for houses, and getting your heart broken multiple times by rejected offers- YOU SHOULD SKIP THE SPRING BUYER’S RUSH AND JUST START LOOKING IN AUGUST.
Housing inventory is still high compared to the off-season
Early spring and summer buyers will have the most listing inventory to choose from, but the late summer market is still relatively high in inventory compared to buying in the latter half of the year. Winter buyers can’t necessarily be picky about what they are looking for in a house and with limited housing inventory for sale during those months, you may not find one at all.
You are more likely to get a deal
Let’s be honest, there are rarely any “deals” in this competitive seller’s market (especially under $400k in desirable parts of the metro). Most realtors would consider a “deal” in this market a purchase at asking price or just below asking price. BUT – if there was ever a month in the “on-season” that you potentially could find a deal, it’s probably August. August is when buyers seem to take a pause in searching for a house. Late summer often sees a lot of price reductions on listings that are left over from earlier in the year that have motivated sellers still trying to sell. If you can compromise on your housing criteria, you can always find a good deal on a house that has already been price reduced and sitting longer on the market.
You can move in the fall instead of winter!
Who wants to do showings or move during the holidays and snowstorms?! NO ONE.
Extra credit for the strategic buyer:
If you can swing it, sell your home in the early spring/summer months to get the highest amount on your sale. In the interim, rent or stay with friends or family for a few months until the market cools off and buy your new house in August or September. Of course it’s inconvenient and most buyers won’t attempt it, but it’s definitely a great way to take advantage of the market heating up and then cooling to keep the most amount of money in your pocket.
Try to buy during the last few weeks of August, preferably during the Minnesota State Fair and right before back-to-school. Even fewer buyers will be competing for houses during that time. That’s when we ended up finding our “deal” of a house, and we would wait until late August all over again! Read about our home buying story here.
If you think you are late starting the home buying journey this year, you actually may be starting at the perfect time! we would be happy to chat with you more about your goals, best strategies for your purchase/sale and getting you started on a custom home search. Let’s schedule an introduction.
This blog was originally posted on ModestModerns.com.
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