While spring may be king for selling a home, fall is the best time to buy for price-conscious shoppers. Buyers looking to move prior to summer or before kids start school have already settled in and buyers are getting desperate. Less competition means sales prices are likely to be lower.
The real estate market is still hot and homes are selling over asking price any month of the year. However, just 17% of homes sold in October are sold for more than listing price, compared to 26% of homes in March and April. The average time on the market for a home listed in October is 84 days, compared to 67 days in June and 104 in January.
You’ll want to consider your personal circumstances when deciding what time of year to purchase a home. But, here are some other factors to think about when buying a home in October.
Sellers are Motivated
Sellers in October may be highly-motivated to sell for several reasons. They may just need to move quickly for personal reasons like a job change, or they may have had their home on the market all summer long and are getting nervous. These sellers have likely repositioned their asking price after missing out on the rush by pricing too high. Either way, they’ve missed the spring and summer seller seasons. Buyers that were looking have likely found something and sellers are getting desperate.
RealtyTrac analysts reviewed more than 32 million real estate sales since 2000 and found October is the best month to close on a home purchase. These buyers purchase for 2.6% below estimate market value on average. Here are a few things to consider when buying a home in October.
By October, families have settled into fall and aren’t likely to want to switch schools for their children. Others in colder areas of the country shudder about the thought of moving their furniture in the potential snow and slush of late fall. Not to mention fall means the start of several major sports season and people aren’t likely to forego them to visit open houses all weekend.
Either way, less competition gives buyers in October the upper hand for negotiation, especially with motivated sellers mentioned in the section above. You can offer a lowball offer with an aggressive real estate agent and promise a closing by Thanksgiving. This puts you in a prime position to get the home for less and relieve worn-out sellers.
Best Day to Buy in October
Attom Data Solutions, a real estate information company, looked at four years' worth of sales and found October 12 as one of the six top buyer-friendly dates. The best day of the week to close is Monday — buyers that do this save an average of 2.3% on market value. The second best day of the week to close is Friday — these buyers save an average of 2%.
End-of-Year Tax Benefits
While probably not your top reason to buy in October, certain tax incentives don’t hurt. By buying toward the end of the year, you can take the most advantage of being able to deduct costs related to buying a new home on your April 15 return, including closing costs, property taxes and mortgage interest.
Keep in mind that you’ll only take full advantage of these benefits if you itemize on your taxes, Since the federal standard deduction was just increased, work with your accountant to determine the best way to file for your situation.
Outfit Your Home for Cheap
Since you’ll be moved in prior to the holidays, this means you can enjoy end-of-year closeouts on things like furniture, appliances and home decor. Stock up on items you’ll need for the first spring in your new home. According to Consumer Reports, lawn mowers go for deep discounts in October, and appliances and cookware cost the least in November. Plus, if your friends and family are looking for gift ideas, there is surely plenty on your list!
If you’re looking to buy a home this October, work with an experienced buyer’s agent who can help you properly time your purchase, balancing both the market and your individual needs. They can also help you negotiate for the best deal possible. This is especially important in October when the assertiveness of your agent could take advantage of a motivated seller.
Clever Partner Agents are also able to offer on-demand showings — sometimes in less than an hour — so you know you won’t miss out on a good property. Speed is key in finding a good deal. Plus, you’ll get a $1,000 buyer’s rebate on any home you purchase for more than $150,000.