Spring may be the best time to list your home for sale, but buyers shouldn’t make the mistake of waiting until the snow melts to purchase a home.
The truth is, sellers have their homes listed right now because they’re looking to sell right now. If they didn’t want to sell until spring, they would wait until spring to list their home. Plus, with less buyers actively looking for a home during winter, it’s often possible to get a better deal on a home, especially if the seller needs to sell quickly.
- With advances in mobile technology and the abundance of real estate apps, it’s easy to make time for house hunting in between holiday dinners and Christmas shopping.
- While there are typically less homes listed for sale in the winter, there is also less competition between buyers, which can give you an advantage in the negotiation process
- Prices are likely to be lower for homes during the off-season (any time other than spring)
- Mortgage lenders may be willing to waive some of their fees when demand for loans is low
- Sellers may not be as firm on their price in the off-season
- Many sellers are more willing to negotiate in the weeks leading up to Christmas
- After the announcement of a mass-lay off, it’s possible to get a good deal on a home
Regardless of the season though, the best time to buy a home is when you’re financially and emotionally ready to buy.
- Consider how much home you can afford
- What is your credit score – will lenders approve your application for a home loan?
- What is the economy like? Interest rates are often affected by economic factors like inflation, cost of living, and market conditions
- How much debt do you have? If you’re drowning in student loans, you may not be able to get a home loan
- Are you planning on staying in the same area for at least 5 years? If not, it may be best to continue renting.
- Do you have a stable job/income? This is a major factor that lenders will consider when reviewing your loan application
- Do you have enough money for the down payment on a home?
- Do you have an emergency fund in place?
- Will you be able to maintain the home properly? That is, are you physically and financially able to own and maintain your own home?
You shouldn’t wait to buy a home until spring just because that’s typically the peak of the housing market. There are still homeowners who are trying to sell, even in the off-season. Talk to a local real estate agent to determine whether now is the right time to buy a house and check out these articles from CNN and Trulia.