Though there’s a chill in the air and the holidays are fast approaching, DC real estate deals are heating up. Even a 2% decrease in a property’s price can add up to thousands of dollars, so bargain hunters are smart to wait until the buying frenzy has worn off to look for their dream property.
But lower prices aren’t the only reason why this is the most wonderful time of the year to buy real estate. Buyers are likely to face less competition, more motivated sellers and great deals on home improvement services.
Check out the following reasons why DC real estate shopping is better during the fall and winter months.
Falls Sales Typically Equal Lower Home Prices
Real estate data giant RealtyTrac analyzed over 32 million home sales over a period of 15 years and found October to be the best month to buy a home. Buyers with October 8 closing dates see an average price ten percent or more below market value.
How good of a deal is that? Let’s crunch the numbers using their data and the average market value of a DC area home:
Property Market Value: $529,000
|Closing Date||Percentage of Market Value||Final Sales Price|
Purchasing your home later in the year provides substantial savings. Of course you’re not guaranteed to experience the same results when you buy, but even paying less than one percent lower for your home adds up to thousands.
It’s also worth noting that these are closing dates and not contract dates, which a buyer often has less control over.
Fall Homebuyers Experience Less Competition
Sellers enjoy a competitive real estate market because multiple offers and bidding wars drive up home prices, especially when inventory is low. But savvy buyers wait until demand is lower to begin house hunting because it puts them in a better bargaining position.
Though inventory may be limited because the most attractive properties sold during the busy spring season, what’s left has likely been sitting on the market longer than expected. This often creates the impression that something is wrong with these properties, but many times they were overlooked because of been better deals in the neighborhood.
If you’re willing to compromise on what you must have in a property, the lower competition allows you to negotiate more than during spring. But don’t go overboard. The DC market moves faster than most, even in the off-season.
Fall Creates Motivated Sellers
As properties sit on the market for longer than expected, sellers who were unwilling to budge on their prices during the spring become more willing to negotiate. This is especially true when sellers have a deadline, such as a new job in another part of the country or school enrollment deadlines for young children.
Home Improvement Bargains
Those buying a home in the fall can take advantage of lower home improvement prices and sales on major appliances. Because construction is slower when it gets cold outside, you can often hire help for much lower prices than you can in the spring and summer months.
Consumer Reports data shows that prices on major appliances and TVs is lowest in November and December. Not only can you get a good deal on your home, but you can do some renovations at a discount, too.
More Facetime With the Pros
If you’ve ever struggled to get your agent on the phone in April, it’s probably because he’s being pulled in a million different directions. But you won’t have those problems in the fall and winter months. Having your agent’s undivided attention means that they will have more time to spend helping you find your dream home.
If you’re looking for great deals on a home, fall is the time to shop. The lower competition means finding a bargain is much easier. Though there may be less to choose from, the combination of less buyers and motivated sellers mean you’re in a position to enjoy substantial savings on your next purchase. When the weather cools, DC real estate deals really heat up!