If you're looking to buy, say, a pair of shoes, you can be pretty certain that those shoes will cost the same on any given day of the year. After all, a thing costs what it costs, right? You might think the same principle applies to properties, but this is not actually the case. The price of a home can fluctuate wildly throughout the year, from tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars above the asking price during times of high demand, to the same amount of money below the asking price, during periods of low demand.
This is due to the simple fact that when there are more people looking to buy, they'll bid against each other for the same home, driving up the price. When there are fewer people looking to buy, there are simply fewer bidders and little upward pressure on prices.
The implication for you, the buyer, is that knowing how to time the market can mean as much as a six-figure difference in how much you pay for that dream home. Of course, it's not so simple as reading an article, although this is a great place to start.
To get the best bargain you possibly can, the best thing to do is to partner with an experienced local agent who understands the fluctuations of the market. Not only can they tell you precisely when to put in your offer, but they can also help negotiate a great price. Clever Partner Agents are top performers in their respective markets and can help you with timing the market as well as every other aspect of your home buying journey.
The Best Time to Purchase a Home in Kansas
The best time to purchase a home in Kansas is likely the tail end of winter, in the February-March period.
Drawing mostly on data from the Overland Park market (which is one of the largest markets in the state, and quite representative of the rest of Kansas), it looks like homes that sold in the month of February closed for 7.8% less than the yearlong average. Aiming for a February closing date could get you an excellent discount.
Continuing in that vein, homes lingered on the market for about 14 days longer than average in the month of March. Statewide, listings in Kansas average about 82 days, so this is a significant increase.
Well-informed sellers know that their odds of selling decrease the longer their home is listed, so as the days drag past, they'll likely be more and more willing to strike a deal. With some savvy negotiating, waiting until March could get you the best possible deal.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Kansas
Not only is Overland Park one of the best places to live in Kansas, it consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the entire country. Though home values are higher than the national average, Overland Park posts some of the best public schools in America, a median household income much higher than the national average, and a low crime rate.
The largest city in Kansas boasts housing that's much more affordable than the national average (the median home value here is $124,400, as opposed to the national average of $184,700) for a small-town lifestyle in a large-ish city. Though crime rates are higher here than the national average, the cost of living is one of the lowest of any metro area in America.
This small city of just over 127,000 offers a suburban family-friendly vibe where your dollar goes farther than almost anywhere else in the country; Topeka has the fifth-lowest cost-of-living in America. Home prices are much lower than the national average, though home values are rising steadily throughout the state.
Not to be confused with its neighboring sister city in Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas offers big-city trappings with a small-town feel, and proximity to the major urban amenities of Kansas City, MO. With home values less than half the national average, barriers to homeownership here are very low.
Yes, there's a Manhattan in Kansas. (There's also a Brooklyn in Iowa.) Manhattan, Kansas, is close to several excellent state parks and nature preserves, and offers home prices and median household incomes roughly on par with the national averages, making it a hidden Kansas gem.
Four Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Kansas
Find a Great Kansas Real Estate Agent
Though it might be tempting to try and take this journey by yourself, you're virtually guaranteed to get better results if you use an agent.
Partnering with a knowledgeable local real estate agent gets you the benefit of their experience and their negotiating skills. They'll have an intimate knowledge of the market, and will probably even have insight into the seller's mindset.
Think of it this way: an agent has negotiated hundreds of sales. They've seen every sort of adversity, surprise, and snag. They know how long the process can take, and they know all the paperwork that's required. They're a partner, a guide, an advocate, and a guardian, all in one.
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Your next step is to sit down and have a frank, detailed talk with your agent about what, exactly, you're looking for in a home. Not just the number of bedrooms and neighborhoods, but all the little details that will make the difference between “this is acceptable” and “I've got to have this.”
Do you want a lot of trees on your property? A pool? Privacy fencing? How close do you want neighbors? What about off-street parking? There are so many questions to answer, but the sooner you answer them, the faster you can start finding that perfect home.
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Work with your agent to find the right lender for you. You can also turn to friends and family if they have someone they've worked with in the past.
Next, aim for a preapproval letter. Sellers will know you're a serious buyer when they see you have a preapproval letter. Pre-approval means the bank has looked over your financials and greenlit your mortgage. (Pre-qualification just means your financials got a passing grade; savvy sellers will know it doesn't amount to much.)
Once you've got that financing in place, keep in mind that it takes 30 days to close on a home. Plan well in advance.
Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Your agent will put together a list of homes that fit your budget and requirements. If one of them captures your imagination, you'll want to put in an offer.
Once again, this is where having a great agent comes in handy. They'll help you arrive at a number for the initial offer, based on market knowledge and the specific circumstances. Then they'll engage with the seller agent (or the owner) and attempt to negotiate downwards. Anything from lead paint in the house to a cracked driveway can be used as leverage to get a few thousand knocked off the price. In the end, your agent could save you five figures, or even more.
If your agent's successful, your offer will be accepted, making you the new owner of your dream home. Congrats!
Clever Partner Agents are seasoned, elite performers in their respective markets, with proven track records. Contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation!