School bells are ringing again across the nation, and it can be a hectic time.
Many home buyers have children, and as a result, they’re looking to get a deal done before the end of summer. Changing school districts in the middle of the year can be a hassle.
But the statistics say summer is the most expensive time to make a deal. Fall is a great time to buy or sell a home, with the wind of the summer selling season still at your back.
In a study of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas, prices typically peak during the summer, dip in the fall and are lowest in winter, potentially saving off-peak buyers thousands of dollars.
Buyers will still find a very tight supply of homes but will probably also find much of their competition has dropped like the leaves from the trees, content to wait until the sun shines again.
Sellers seem to get more motivated, too.
While homes don’t list for significantly lower in the fall – decreasing just a half a percent – the decline in actual prices paid show sellers’ true colors.
In 2018, for instance, home sale prices dropped 2.96% on average – that’s $8,300 on the median home - from summer (June through August) to fall (September through November).
Maybe sellers overestimated how much buyers were willing to pay during the hot spring and summer season, and they’d rather make a sale than wait another six months.
Fall prices aren’t the lowest, however.
For the true bargain hunter, that usually happens in the dead of winter. In January and February, homes cost 8.45% less than in June through August.