Q: “I’ve heard spring is the busiest time of year for real estate. Does that mean it’s the best time of year to buy?”
A: There are two schools of thought to this. One is that spring, being the busiest time of year, is also the best time to buy because the most amount of homes are on the market, thus giving a buyer the most options to choose from. The potential downside is that everyone is using this same school of thought, thus creating multiple-offer scenarios where you may be competing with other buyers for the same house(s). See how to win in a multiple-offer scenario. You’ll also want to keep in mind that real estate’s “spring” season starts much earlier than March 20th (think the first week in January).
The other methodology, especially if your timeline is less urgent, is waiting until the slower months to buy. While there may be slightly less to choose from, you will have less buyer competition, and prices tend to drop off a bit during this time. Summer (especially between 4th of July and Labor Day) and winter (especially between Thanksgiving and New Years) tend to be the slowest periods.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your personal timeline. If you have a lease that expires, a baby on the way, or another life event driving your search, you will still be able to find a great house no matter what the time of year. Your real estate agent will be able to advise you on whether your desired area has high buyer activity, low inventory, and what you can expect during your search. Happy house hunting!
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