With New England weather, the real estate industry is busiest in warmer months. People want to move when the weather is nice, and they also want to be settled into their new home before the holidays in November, December, and January. The fall is often seen as a slower season for real estate, but that doesn't mean people aren't selling their homes during that time.
Buying a home in the fall may mean less variety of homes for sale, but there are a few silver linings to buying in the "off-season":
1 - There's Less Competition!
Less people buy homes in the fall, so you're more likely to get the home you want without going into a bidding war. Also, if you're the only interested buyer, you can negotiate a great deal. Being in a position to negotiate is great if you have stipulations or requests from the seller (for example: for them to help pay your closing costs).
Less competition also means that realtors aren't as busy, which means you'll have their full attention!
2 - Sellers are eager
People sometimes mistake fall listings as "leftovers", but that's not the case! Fall homes can be just as great as peak season homes. People who put their homes on the market in the fall are usually doing so because of timing - they have a job change, need to move or make a quick change due to their circumstances. Either way, it doesn't mean it's a leftover home, it just means the timing worked in your favor!
When sellers are listing homes in the fall, you also know that means they're eager to sell quick. Because you have less competition and sellers are motivated, you can often get a great deal.
In addition, some sellers may have had unrealistic listing prices in the peak season and couldn't sell for their listing price. The fall is often when they start getting more desperate and lower their price before the winter months officially hit.
3 - Less Stress
Buying in the peak season can be stressful - with so much more competition, you may find yourself in bidding wars and feeling pressured to make quick decisions.
In the fall with less competition, you have ample time to explore homes on the market and think about the pros and cons of each.
4 - You'll Notice Any Weather-Related Issues
When you see homes in peak season, they are often landscaped and looking their best. But when you look at homes in the fall or winter months, you will see how the house holds up in colder, unfavorable weather.
Is the home well insulated? Does the road flood, is it easy to plow? Remember that landscaping can hide flaws on the exterior like chipped paint, water stains, etc. So when autumn comes, leaves start falling, flowers die, and landscaping becomes bare, it's a great time to see the home for what it really is!
5 - Cheaper Upgrades and Improvements
According to Consumer Reports, household appliances and equipment go on sale in the fall, as the items and products become "last year's model" with the new year approaching.
Also think about those contractors and handymen - these guys are super busy in warmer months, as it's obviously easier to renovate and tackle home improvement projects. In the fall, these professionals will be more available and may even offer discounts or lower rates.
So you have it! Fall can still be a great time to buy, depending on what your situation is and what's important to you. At Keeler Family Realtors, we work year-round and help clients buy and sell real estate all year long!