One of the most exciting things about real estate is there is almost always data to back up any decision. Though each real estate transaction is unique, it can still be very calculated and strategically made.
Let's dive into the statistics and look at the proven behavior of buyers and sellers to determine the BEST time of year to buy real estate.
Two months ago I wrote a blog post explaining how inventory affects demand. Inventory is the most significant factor in determining when it's a more or less ideal time to buy. Check out that post for a more in-depth explanation HERE.
Typically, the best time to buy is when inventory is high. That means buyers have many options and sellers realize they have to be competitive in order to sell. This would be Spring/Summer! It's the easiest time to move, more people are out and about being productive, you hopefully received a little tax return recently, etc.
The downside to buying in summer is there's more buyer competition too. Simply put, because it's so convenient, everyone else is doing it too.
However, there is one other season that is statistically proven to be the best time of year to buy, and ironically it's when inventory is at its LOWEST and it's the LEAST convenient time to buy/sell.
Let's talk about what happens to real estate listings during the holidays...
If your house was listed at the tail end of summer, say September, and it sat on the market through till October, guess what happens? That house will progressively lose traction and could likely sit till January. Why? Buyers are too busy setting up fake spiderwebs, making hosting plans for Thanksgiving, and building Christmas lists. Generally speaking, most buyers aren't actively looking for a house from late October through the end of the year.
Who the heck wants to move in November, let alone December? That's the most inconvenient time to move. It's just too tricky and often overwhelming.
Thus, fewer houses are listed for sale during those holiday months and the houses that are listed tend to sit on the market longer (if it's not priced properly!). Everything almost comes to a slow lull.
Why would this be the best time to buy?
Pros to buying during the holidays:
Sellers are getting desperate! Odds are their house has either been sitting on the market longer than they expected and they are starting to get anxious, or they just listed and there's a reason they need to sell NOW (job relocation, family matters, found another house, etc.).
When sellers are desperate, the price of the house will likely reflect that and they are more willing to negotiate.
The climb in prices is generally slowing down.
This should be the best time of year to get the most bang for your buck.
Cons to buying during the holidays:
There is statistically less inventory of homes for sale on the market. You can typically see the year's lowest during the holidays. So, hopefully, you can still find a home you love in the smaller pool of homes for sale.
Let's talk about these stats from realtor.com. As you can see the lowest inventory is generally during "Winter," not just the holidays. This is true! This lull can go from October, through the holidays, and end in roughly February. Why?
What are people doing come January 1st?
First, they are recovering from festivities, purging old toys and organizing new ones, getting back into the groove of things, and mentally taking a little rest. Who would want to add the stress of selling/buying/moving after 3 straight months of go-go-go? Not many people.
Second, they are setting goals for the new year! And what often shows up on that new year's resolution list? Real estate goals. One of the biggest decisions people make in their lives. This decision can take 1-2 months to prep for; mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.
Thus things begin to pick up at the start of March! Inventory climbs, buyers come out of the woodwork, and, "Ring the bell!" the market is wide open for trade!
What does this mean for you?
If you want your real estate purchase to be smart, calculated, and get the most bang for your buck - buy during the holidays.
If you are wanting to sell and use that equity to buy another home, Winter can still be a good time for that contingency offer! Let's talk about a realistic sale price, marketing plans, and a strategic timeline. The good news is, even though your home might not sell for as high as it could during a summer market, remember, you'd also be buying at a MUCH lower price! It all evens out in the wash!
Don't forget, my team also funds, designs, and manages quick and efficient updates to your home so we can sell for a higher listing price and close significantly faster! Click HERE to learn more about our Update & Sell program.
If you are (or want to be) a first-time home buyer, it's time to get with your real estate agent and start asking some questions! I can help you with this - please reach out, I'd love to hear from you. Just see where you're at, where you need to be, and start seeing if you can get your ducks in line!
Jessica Doberneck with