7 Reasons to Buy a House in the Fall

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Home sales typically begin picking up in the spring of the year and reach their peak in the summer. That makes a lot of sense, of course, because the weather in most parts of the country is a lot better in the spring and summer than it is in the winter.

But, wait, what about autumn? Again generally speaking, there are fewer homes for sale and fewer buyers looking primarily because a new school year has started and families don’t want to uproot their children in the middle of a school year if they can avoid it.

But there can be good reasons for buyers to keep looking for the right home through the fall. At the National Association of Realtors website, Margaret Heidenry presents several reasons why fall may be the best season to find that new home.

Here are seven reasons why buying a house in the fall may be to your advantage.

  1. Lower home prices. This is based on data, not anecdote. RealtyTrac analyzed 32 million home sales over 15 years and found that buyers paid 2.6% below market value for new homes purchased in October. By the way, April is the cruelest month for buyers, with sales averaging about 1.2% above market value.
  2. Less competition. Buyers are just not as thick on the ground after Labor Day.
  3. Worn-out sellers. If a house has been on the market through the spring and summer, and it is still on the market in the fall, chances are the sellers are more willing to negotiate.
  4. Holidays are coming. Again, this works to a buyer’s favor, especially if the seller wants to be in a new home in time for the holiday season.
  5. Tax credits. All those fees and costs that go along with getting a mortgage and buying a house can be used to offset taxable earnings in the current year.
  6. More attention from your real-estate pros. With fewer buyers out there, agents, mortgage brokers and other professionals are more likely to focus on the buyers they have and work harder to make the sale.
  7. Home improvement bargains. If you are interested in upgrading appliances, December is the time of year to do it. If you get that new house in the fall — and you have some cash left — this is a good time of year to make the changes and improvements you want to that new house.