Best Seasons to Buy Or Sell Your Home

By: Paula Cherrist

Best Seasons to Buy Or Sell Your Home

Something few people consider when both looking for a home or condo to buy or deciding to sell one is how seasons affect the housing market and when the best time of year to buy or sell is.

There are more homes for sale and properties listed during certain months than others. Although there are often other circumstances that dictate when you have to buy or sell, if you can follow a few timing suggestions you could potential save a lot on a new condo or shave months off how long your property sits on the market.

Best Seasons to Buy Or Sell Your Home

1) Spring is The Best Time for Real Estate
All that being said, spring is by far the best time for the real estate market. There are several factors that all come together to play into that season being the busiest for the home market. People are generally tired of being cooped up inside over the winter and a real spring fever of sorts brings them out, often looking for new places to live. People are usually more optimistic in the spring and with tax rebates showing up from April on, a lot of potential buyers apply them towards a down payment on a new house or condo. Schools and colleges close for the summer, often freeing up families to relocate before a new semester starts. And what better time to show off a home than when the grass is green, the trees look good and you don't have to battle snow to get to the front door?

2) More Homes are Sold between April To July
All in all, The National Association of Realtors says that there are more home sales from April to July than any other time of year, with June being the peak month. Surveys show that about 40% of all homes sold nation-wide occur from May to August. That means that there are more properties listed and more buyers, which can be good and bad. And because very few buyers actually look at homes or make offers on holidays, Easter can be a prime time to grab the home you want, provided you can get the seller or agent to deal with you on that day.

3) October is Another Good Month for Home Buyers
Home sales and inventory generally stay fairly steady through the summer months, then drop off as fall approaches and school starts again. Along about October, the start of cooler weather and pre-holiday season, sales may increase slightly. This is due in part to some sellers lowering prices because the year is drawing to a close and they want to make a sale, thus prompting some potential buyers who might have been waiting them out to finally make an offer.

4) Christmas Month Is Good for Buyers
Working from that holiday theory on the opposite end of the spectrum, Christmas is another holiday where you are unlikely to face any competition from other buyers making offers on a home. In fact, the month of December can have its own special perks pertaining to selling or buying a condo or house. The holidays can put people in a festive, generous mood and historically the pricing is lower on most properties. Many sellers will even pull their homes off the market during the winter months because in truth most people don't want to move in the cold and snow. This means that inventory is lower, but generally so are prices. Condos and houses normally sell for about 3% more than average from May to June, then fall to 3% below average from December through January.

Other factors that affect sales of real estate

1) The overall economy,
This includes oversupply of housing or the flip side of booming economy and limited housing are certainly going to affect buyers and sellers.

2) Location
Prime location is often key to many buyers. A property in the suburbs or one of the North Shore communities will always appeal to a segment of the population, while well-priced, well-constructed downtown condos often sell faster. But no matter where your home is, you can maximize its selling potential by coordinating the time of year you list and advertise it. And by the same token, you can negotiate the best deal on a home you want to purchase by making an offer on certain days.

3) Extreme Weather
Keep in mind that in states where extremes of weather are less of a factor and there is less delineation in seasons, timing won't matter so much. Places like California and Florida don't share the four seasons the way that states like Illinois or New York do. And in states where the warmer months are outnumbered by cooler ones, your window of opportunity as far as yearly timing is also shorter.

Best Seasons to Buy Or Sell Your Home?
Whether you're buying or selling a home, you might want to keep in mind what month the calendar page says. There really is a season for everything, including real estate. Good luck.

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