In the Calendar Year, When Is the Best Time to Buy a House?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 25 January 2023 00:00

As one year passes and another is introduced, we’re all a bit guilty when it comes to reflecting back.. We look to our past and acknowledge our successes and review our so-called failures. Some do this more than others but it’s still an annual ritual. Somehow, the calendar has an impact to some degree on most anything we do. But, as it relates to buying or selling a home, does the time of year dictate when we should or shouldn’t buy or sell?

There are two basic thoughts about what time of year is best to sell or buy a home. Many say that in late spring or summer is the best time to buy or sell. It’s this time of year when kids are out of school and that makes it easier to make a move compared to pulling kids out of school and plopping down into a brand new school district.

Sellers know this as well. When lots of moves abound, it makes sense to put a home in front of the most buyers as possible. And this is most often in the summertime when most schools are typically closed. There are more choices on the MLS. Buyers know that and also want to put their home on the market to get in front of as many faces as possible. 

This process can last all summer and in early fall as home sellers try to get their home on the market. More buyers equal more opportunities and can also increase the ultimate selling price as buyers compete for houses.

On the other hand, when homes hit the market in the dead of winter, there aren’t as many buyers out there. Subsequently there aren’t as many homes listed when compared to the late spring and summer months. Sellers and real estate agents certainly know this but when a home does become listed during this time, it’s typically a very motivated seller. 

The seller knows that there could probably be more money to be had if the home was listed smack dab in the middle of buying and selling season, but there may be some other reasons to sell in the winter. These motivations are the sellers' only but when a home does become listed in the winter, there’s probably more going on than just the listing.

So which part of the year is better? That’s for your real estate agent to help decide but in general, pay less attention to the calendar and more to your own needs. Forget the calendar. If you’re ready to sell, full speed ahead. Decide what’s best for you at the moment, and less on the calendar.

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David Reed

David Reed (Austin, TX) is the author of Mortgages 101, Mortgage Confidential, Your Successful Career as a Mortgage Broker , The Real Estate Investor's Guide to Financing, Your Guide to VA Loans and Decoding the New Mortgage Market. As a Senior Loan Officer and Mortgage Executive he closed more than 2,000 mortgage loans over the course of more than 20 years in commercial and residential mortgage lending. 

He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox and Friends and the Today In New York show. His advice has appeared in the New York Times, Parade Magazine, Washington Post and Kiplinger's as well as in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. 

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