7 Reasons the Fall/Winter is the Best Time to Buy a Home

Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at 9:18am.

The hottest time buyers are out shopping for a new home is during the spring and summer. There are a lot of deals being put into motion and many contracts being signed. However, does that make it the best time to buy a home?

When is the Best Time to Buy a Home

The correct answer to the question 'when is the best time to buy a home?' is when you are ready. You can find great homes and investments year round. So what is the ideal time?

@ uphomes we believe the best time for buyers, especially here in Charlotte, is actually in the Fall/Winter (yes, school and weather play a factor in most places!) and here are 7 reasons why! 

Fewer Buyers to Compete With

There is nothing fun about having to compete for the home that you have always wanted. Homes are listed on the market and going under contract very quickly. Due to this, it is possible that your dream home could be taken in less than 24 hours from when it goes active for buyers (we saw one sell before 7 am last week). The good news...

We have found that the competition average drops tremendously during the fall/winter months because there are fewer buyers looking for homes at that time. One reason for this is the school year just beginning again in the fall. Many parents want to avoid the stress of relocating because their children would miss out on important schooling during the move. Ultimately, it is smart to search for homes  in the fall/winter months if you do not have any children in grade school at the time. With demand for homes so low in the winter, it is the perfect time for you to take advantage of the market!

In addition to this, buyers are often told that they will get the best deal in the summer. While it can be true that there may be more of a supply of homes during the middle of the year, they aren’t necessarily always the best deal. Nevertheless, potential new homeowners still tend to search for homes in the spring/summer months. If you choose to wait until the demand for buying a new home decreases, there will also be a decrease in competition for the homes that you are interested in. This would relieve you of a lot of stress and would also give you more time to make the best decision.   

Motivated Sellers

Sellers are motivated! They are often focused on getting their homes sold before the start of the new year. Even though there is not an overwhelming demand for homes during the fall/winter, they are still hoping that they can get their home sold as fast as possible! In many cases, homes are put on the market during the spring when demand is the highest. However, some of those homes might have been listed too pricey, it never received offers, or the seller decided to take it off the market for another reason since the home didn’t sell. 

One thing we have noticed is that even the best neighborhoods in Charlotte are more likely to have motivated sellers than in the Spring.

Most of the time, sellers list their homes in the spring when real estate is most busy and there is a high demand. Unfortunately, they either listed the price of their home too high or had to take it off for some other reason and it never got any offers. It sat there through the summer and is still active during the fall. The seller will start to worry once it gets close to winter if their home has still not sold. This can be great for you and you may be able to swing a great deal from this!

Because demand is so low now during the fall/winter, the sellers will be assuming that since they didn’t get any action during the peak of the real estate year, they aren’t going to get any now. This will leave them with the choice to either lower the listing price, or take the first offer they get. If you are the buyer, you would be smart to see how long the home has been on the market and estimate a good deal for you based on that information!

Learn more about the Home’s Flaws

During the fall/winter, we start to see the changes in nature. The leaves begin to change color, then fall off the trees. It gets darker sooner in the day. It tends to rain more and soon start to snow. The temperature drops and it isn’t sunny and 75 anymore. When it comes to inspecting a home, this will work to the buyer’s advantage.

During the summer, when you go on a showing or you are doing a walkthrough of a home, there may be a lot you miss. It may be sunny and warm and the grass may be greener than you have ever seen it before. It looks so perfect that you can’t wait to put an offer down on the home. But the issue is you overlooked a lot of the flaws that you would have caught if it were cold, rainy, or even snowing outside. Turns out that perfect home you saw and bought in the summer couldn’t make it through one small snowstorm, or a long day of rain. The roof is leaking, there is a crack in crawl space and all the water is getting in through there. You would never have known because you saw the home during such a beautiful day and again later on in the week.

During the fall, when the leaves and grass start to fade away their beautiful green color, the landscape of the home doesn’t look as great as it once did. You can now get a better picture of what the home looks like year round, and focus on the true flaws of the home. Not every home is perfect and you want to make sure you catch any material facts that should have been caught but weren’t because you decided to buy during the spring/summer.

More Time to Think

No rush! Take your time through the home buying process. You will be given a lot of it if you are planning on buying during the fall/winter. You have the upper hand as a buyer. With competition so low and sellers so motivated, you have more power than you think! When it was during the spring/summer, sellers had many offers. So if you took your time contemplating whether or not you should make an offer, the chances to do so could be taken away before the end of the day. It is a stressful time buying at the beginning and middle of the year. This is why buying in the fall/winter can be very beneficial.

Because you are less likely to find yourself in a multiple offer situation, you will have less to worry and stress out about. You can then focus on other things such as getting a loan, any inspections done, learn about schools in the area and any amenities. More importantly, you can make sure that there isn’t a better home or investment out there. You have the time to keep checking out more options and viewing more homes. The house you are thinking about is a lot less likely going to be gone within a couple of days. Unless the sellers want to sell immediately, it should still be around after checking out a few other homes. This will give you a huge advantage when looking for a new home to buy.

Agents have less clients -- focus more on you!

Because of the slow real estate market later in the year, things are a lot less hectic. You will have a much easier time finding an agent that can focus his/her time on you instead of multiple clients. Finding a buyer’s agent can be stressful, but during the late season, they are easier to get ahold of. During the spring they have many buyer clients to tend to and focus on equally.

If you're living in Charlotte and looking for a Realtor to assist you let us know!

The market can be so crazy then that they have to try and keep up with everyone. When it gets later in the year, an agent’s list of buyer clients will drop and you will notice that they have more time and pay a lot more attention to you and make sure you are taken care of with anything you need.

Price Reduction

One of everyone’s favorite reasons to buy in the fall/winter is the drop in the price of homes for sale. Because there are such few buyer’s and competition during the late year in the market, demand is much lower than supply. With the number of sellers that are trying to sell before the end of the year, you begin to notice the prices reducing.  

Compared to the early, busy parts of the year you will see a big difference in prices. Sellers who listed their homes for sale in the beginning of the year and were unable to find a buyer will lower the home’s price during the fall to try and sell it before the year ends. It will make a big difference as there are not many buyers out there searching for homes. The sellers are given a much better chance when they drop the price of their home. 

Less Multiple Offer Situations

If you're a first time home buyer in Charlotte, you likely don't realize just how many multiple offer situations we have. Brace yourselves ahead of time.

One point of buying in the fall/winter is so that you can be relieved of the stresses of competition coming in and trying to buy the home you want! With such a low competition rate, there is much less of a chance you will be caught up in a multiple offer situation. Unlike the early seasons, the later seasons don’t get as busy. The real estate traffic is not as bumper to bumper as it normally is. You will find yourself with a much better chance of being able to purchase the home you desire.

When there aren’t multiple offers for a seller to review and choose between, they are more likely going to take the best offer they get. This will be very advantageous to you. You will be able to get the home at a much cheaper price, or save money on closing costs. The seller’s motivation will also be a factor in the offer stage. They will take the best offer - which may be the only offer - and want to sell right away. Then you walk away with a win getting a great home at a great price!

Final Thoughts on the Best Time to Buy a Home 

It's important to understand that the best time to buy is when you are ready. Each person's situation is unique to them. You can find great deals in the spring/summer/fall/winter and all year round. So buy when you are ready!

2018 is a great time to buy a home, especially with mortgage rates so low!

There are many advantages when buying a home in the fall/winter. We put together a list of what we believed were the most important ones for you. It is important to gain as much knowledge as you can before starting the home buying process!

Thank you for taking part of your schedule to read over this informative article. We hope that you took away a lot of great information from this and we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Share This Article


Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR in Charlotte, NC. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Charlotte Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below... We love comments!


Leave a Comment