House hunting in the fall months can bring plenty of positives. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the months of April, May, June, and July are the busiest months for home sales. This is because many families like to buy a new-to-them home when their children are not in school and when they can take a summer vacation dedicated to moving to the new home.
After the summer months are over, home sales usually slow down. This means the fall months can be a prime buying time for house-hunters because:
- There is usually less competition among buyers. During the fall, there are usually fewer buyers. This is because many people do not decide to move to a new home once school begins and summer vacations are over. Since there is less competition among buyers for homes during the fall months, this also means you may be able to get the house you want without much of a struggle. You might also be able to avoid a bidding war over a home since there will be less potential buyers.
- You might get a better price on a home. During the spring months, the housing market is usually through the roof (pun intended) with potential buyers. This heightened demand normally drives prices up. However, during the fall months, there are usually fewer potential buyers, which means that you may be able to get a better price on a home than just a few months earlier. Sellers are more likely to work with you during this time because they don't know when they will receive another offer.
- Mortgage lenders are more willing to work with you. During the slower fall months, mortgage lenders have more time to work with potential mortgage applicants, and, therefore try harder to win and keep your business. This is different from the spring and summer months where everyone is rushing through their doors wanting a home loan. In addition, since mortgage lenders have more time to process your loan, this means you may be able to cut down on the processing time and receive the keys to your new home faster.
- Your real estate agent will have more time. House hunting in the summer months may mean your real estate agent is very busy dealing with all of his or her other clients. However, during the slower fall months, your real estate agent will likely have fewer clients. This means more time for you and helping you find your dream home.
- You should receive a more thorough home inspection. During the fall months, a home can usually be inspected better. This is because there might be heavy rainstorms or the heat may need to be turned on. Your home inspector will be able to know if the roof is in good condition, if there are a lot of drafts in the home, if the pipes are all in working condition, and if the heat works correctly after the summer months are over.
To be fair, there are downsides to buying a home in autumn, the primary one being that there is usually less inventory. But if you can find one that you want, the process should go more smoothly than earlier in the year.