Summer house shopping: buying a home during real estate’s busiest season
Throughout the United
States, the summer months have long been known as the most-hectic time to buy
or sell a home. There are several reasons for this. The biggest is that, in
summer, people with children have the spare time to concentrate on finding a
home that suits them.
Closing prices throughout the summer months tend to be a little higher than in winter. And the overall pace of the real estate market in the summer is breakneck; people who want to snag the home of their dreams must be prepared to go to closing fast.
This means that the summer months are a generally more-stress-filled time to shop for a home. Because of these considerations, many experts recommend that people avoid house shopping in the summer. However, like everything else in real estate, whether avoiding the summer home-buying rush is best or not depends on many factors. The fact is that participating in the summer real estate market can provide several significant edges for both buyers and sellers when the way to succeed in the competitive summer market is understood.
Although regular and physician mortgage loan options are often slightly worse in the summer months, the opportunities to save money overall on a summer home purchase abound.
Competition is a two-way street
The summer months often produce slightly higher average closing prices because there are far more buyers going after limited inventory. However, this is offset by the fact that there are also often more sellers in the summer, which means that those selling their homes are competing for offers almost as fiercely as buyers are competing for homes.
As a buyer, understanding your local real estate market can help you to determine in what segments the real competition is taking place between sellers. In competitive markets, being able to make fast offers and get to closing before other buyers can provide a considerable edge. Having your financing arranged beforehand, only making offers on properties that you are prepared to immediately go to closing on and knowing ahead of time exactly what features you require in a property are all essential for remaining competitive in the summer months.
The good news is that, especially at the mid-priced level and lower, sellers understand they are competing in a market where inventory is likely vast. This means that swooping in with a cash-in-hand offer that can get a deal closed in a matter of weeks can be a hugely useful negotiating tool when dealing with sellers, who often realize that they may be waiting months to get another serious offer should yours fall through.
When you play it right, summer allows you to get more for your current home
There are compelling reasons to avoid the summer real estate market for those who are not currently selling a home while simultaneously looking to buy a new one, at least for those who may not have the experience and knowledge to compete successfully.
But for those who must sell their current home to buy a new one, summer is almost always the best time to make the transition to a new home. The simple fact is that the knowledgeable summer seller can maximize the selling price that they get for their current property. At the same time, the expert summer buyer can mitigate or even reverse the downside to summer purchases by learning to quickly assess properties and make competitive offers that sellers have a tough time declining.
Additionally, summer days can have up to twice as many hours of light, making touring vast numbers of homes in a short timespan feasible. While summer might still not be the best time for you to buy your next home, approaching this competitive seasonal market the smart way can open new advantages that might make it the right time to make a move.