Seasonal Real Estate Guide: How To Know When To Buy or Sell a Home
The real estate market (just like the weather) can change with the seasons. Typically, sales activity slows down in the winter and picks back up in the summer, depending on the area. Prices tend to be above-trend in those summer months, which is why dominant real estate seasonality trends are worth paying attention to when buying a home or considering investing in one.
Below, we’ll discuss which trends to look out for during each season of the year.
Summer Real Estate Market
Summer is the hottest season of the year, but more than that, it’s a special time of year for the real estate market. Nicer weather likely makes people more likely to want to look at properties. Summer presents the most opportunity to buy or sell a home.
But that also means more summertime competition for agents, homebuyers, and sellers.
Winter Real Estate Market
Winter might not seem like an opportune time to buy a home, but because competition can be way lower in the winter, it can be a good time to buy, depending on the region. In the colder months, you might find fewer people buying homes, which means you’ll likely get the property you want at the fair market value price (or sometimes even lower). That’s because there’s usually a lot going on during the winter months, what with the holidays.
Fall Real Estate Market
The fall marks the end of the busy real estate season. While it’s not as active as the summer months, it’s still pretty hot compared to the winter months. If you’re looking to purchase, the fall is a good time. As competition starts to decline in the fall (and the summer rush dies down), you’ll notice the prices of homes tend to drop after this point.
Homes that don’t sell over the summer are also pushed to get off the market as quickly as possible. The longer a home sits on the market, the more challenging it could be to sell because people might start thinking there’s something wrong with it.
Spring Real Estate Market
The spring real estate market is where things start to ramp back up after the quiet winter of slow sales activity. In the spring, most regions can look forward to lower prices and less competition as the market heats up in preparation for the fiercely competitive summer months. The spring is when people start to ramp up their home-buying search. The winter lag makes buyers excited to jump on new prospects (and maybe even revisit old ones they once considered). So if you’re selling a home, this is the perfect time to list it with an agent who can help you sell the property at the best price.
Seasonal Real Estate Trends for Sellers
The competition for inventory has been fierce in recent years, which means it’s a seller’s market. But just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to seasonal real estate trends in the market. That’s because you might be able to get even more than your home is worth simply because some people just want to get into a house fast (due to limited inventory), so they might be willing to pay way over the asking price.
What’s the Best Time To Sell a House?
Based on what you learned, you might’ve guessed that the best time to sell a house would most likely be in the summer. Because you’ll likely get more for your home and more competition from homebuyers (who’ll be anxious to get your home and, therefore, more willing to go above the asking price).
Seasonal Real Estate Trends for Buyers
Because the real estate market (much like the stock market) is in a constant cycle of fluctuations in supply and demand, you might find that it’s easier to buy (meaning less competition and possibly lower properties – depending on your region) in the winter months.
What’s the Best Time To Buy a House?
After all of this, you might wonder, what time of year is the best time to buy a house?
The answer isn’t so simple. While we know that the spring and summer months are the best to buy a house because of higher inventory, that also means higher prices. So, you’ll have to determine which tradeoff is better for your situation.
Other Things To Consider
While seasons play a role in seasonal real estate trends, so do other factors, such as the holidays and the school year. Many parents aren’t willing to uproot their families during the school year, so they wait until after it’s over (summer) to sell their homes.
You’ll also find fewer people moving or selling their homes during the holidays. They’re stressful enough without the headache of thinking about moving on top of that (not to mention all the other things that come along with buying a home, including inspections and showings).
There are also end-of-year deadlines and sometimes unpredictable weather conditions, making it difficult for some people to list their homes around the winter months.
Being a cash buyer is also another thing to consider. If you have all cash to purchase a home, your offer is much more likely to get accepted than another’s.
Making the Most of Your Seasonal Real Estate Trends
Once you’re familiar with your region’s seasonal real estate trends, you can start to think about your approach to homebuying, whether you’re buying for personal use or you’re an investor looking to buy for professional use.
One way to ensure you’re making the most of your region’s seasonal real estate trends is by looking at the seasonal real estate trends in your market. According to the National Association of Realtors, the seasonal real estate trends of a market vary from location to location. However, each market has its trends.
For example, selling activity in the Midwest and Northeast gets much busier in the peak season than in any other region in the country. Specifically, in the Midwest, sales in the slow season account for 60 percent of the sales in the peak season compared to 71 percent in the West.
Early in the year, the housing activity can give you clues about the rest of the year. For example, if the activity is slow (winter months are higher than last year’s activity), this might suggest that existing home sales activity might be higher during the peak season also. Keep that in mind as you search for your home or investment property.
Seasonal real estate trends aren’t tricky to figure out. Of course, it can take some time to get familiar with everything, but working with an experienced real estate agent can ease the burden. Using the right tools, such as a tool that can help you predict seasonal real estate trends, can help homebuyers find their dream home at the most opportune time or help investors snap up their next investment property with much more ease.
ProspectNow can always contribute to keeping your business going, no matter what the season may be. The market is slowing down, but it doesn’t mean you stop building the pipeline. ProspectNow can show you who can be a conversation down the road.
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