5 Perks of Buying a House in the Fall

Posted by Laine Smith on 9/12/16 2:19 PM

Topics: First Time Home Buyer home buying Housing Market

Last year, a RealtyTrac study of over 32 million real estate transactions dating back to 2000 found that the best month to close on a home purchase is October. On average, October homebuyers received a 2.6 percent discount below estimated market value. Thinking of purchasing this fall? Here are five other perks of buying September through November.

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You Can Get Settled in Before the Holidays

A study conducted by ERA Real Estate found that 40% of real estate agents’ clients cited the end of vacation season and a back-to-school mentality as reasons they refocused on buying or selling their home.

Twenty percent of brokers and agents also said that buyers wanting to be in a new home for the holidays was also a major reason for making a home purchase in the fall. Buying in early fall allows you to move without uprooting kids in the middle of the school year and gives you time to get settled before the holidays.

You May Find Some Motivated Sellers

A home that sat on the market all summer may incline its owners to bring down their asking price or increase their willingness to negotiate. Because spring is the best time to list a home, someone who lists their home in the fall may have a pressing reason, such as a job relocation, for putting their home on the market later in the year, giving buyers more negotiating power.

According the National Association of Realtors, home prices tend to decrease an average $7,000 after Labor Day, especially in the Midwest. The NAR also found that home prices in the Midwest fall an average $10,000 between August and September. In the Northeast, the average price drop is nearly $20,000 by October.

You Get the Opportunity to Observe Otherwise-Missed Home Maintenance Areas

Home energy efficiency is a top-list item for many homebuyers. Walking through homes during the fall can give you a better idea of how efficient a home is during the cooler months. Pay special attention to gutter drainage, general yard upkeep, drafts around windows and doors, and furnace function.

Fall Is the Best Time to Get Deals on Homeowner Necessities

This is a major perk for first-time homeowners who need to make other costly purchases related to owning a home. According to Consumer Reports, September through November is the best time to score deals on homeowner necessities like lawn mowers, major appliances, carpet, paint, snow blowers and shrubs, trees and perennials.

Competition Usually Winds Down

Low inventory coupled with low ortgage rates has made the market extremely competitive. If you missed out during the summer homebuying season, fall tends to have less buyer traffic, giving you more time to browse homes and consider them at a more leisurely pace.

Regardless of the season, you have a greater advantage over other buyers by meeting with a mortgage banker and receiving a pre-approval or loan commitment (even better) prior to making an offer.

For more information about your home financing options, download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook.

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