Aside from wondering whether the market is buyers or sellers market, and what the current interest rates are, the next most frequently asked question is when is the best season for house hunting. Unfortunately, I can’t really give you a straightforward answer on the best season, but I will provide you information about real estate market characteristics of each season, which can help you decide the best approach for you.
Spring: The real estate market is most “exciting” in the spring. Many buyers start looking for houses, inventory increases quickly, and property days on market are shortest, thus prices are usually higher, and at the same time, competition is most fierce. If you are competitive and you must see as many houses as possible, spring would be a great time for your house hunting.
Summer: Inventory continues to rise, property days on market are still short, but prices however flatten out a little. During the summer buyers have the most options, but competition is still very high. By the end of summer, sellers are usually more motivated to sell, so if you are competitive, patient enough to wait, and willing to move in the fall, summer could be your best time to shop.
Fall: Most listings in fall are leftovers from the summer. In turn, this often means sellers are motivated to sell. Inventory shrinks quite a bit. If you are not picky and only look for deals, fall could be good time for you. However, I suggest home inspection for anything you are interested in during this time. Always be safe rather than sorry. You need to find out why the listing was stale. The worst case is you lose a few hundred dollars and walk away; the best case is you score the deal of your life.
Winter: Winter weather is not ideal for moving and people are not motivated to move during holidays. Even though inventory during winter is the lowest, it could be the best time to look for a deal. Listings during the winter are usually stale listings from fall or sellers need to move quickly for personal reasons. If you are not picky at all and don’t mind moving in when everyone else is inside their houses celebrating the holidays, winter could be your time. Again, it’s important to conduct a house inspection for anything you are interested during this season.
In summary, the best season is whichever is the best time for you. So many factors go into a home purchase, but the most important factor is always you and your family. Are you financially ready? When is your rent contract is over? Are you a patient shopper? Are you a picky shopper? No one can tell you exactly which season is the best season for your home purchase. I hope this information is in some way helpful for your decision making.