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Best/Worst Months to Buy and Sell a Home
Real estate like many industries has cyclical nuances based on the calendar that have serious effects on buyers and sellers. Anyway since I don't know your timeline on real estate I thought I'd put it out there that July/August/Dec/early January are usually the best times to buy. The reasons have to do with prices retracting during these months and less buyers to compete with as most have taken a break from the market after losing 3 contracts in the Spring, gone on vacation, committed themselves to some family time with holidays or recently succeeded in buying their home in the Spring or Fall.
Another reason these months can be good for buying pertains to the cycle of price increases--often in Sept. (the fall market) and early Spring (the spring market) the prices go up in our appreciating market. Just waiting an extra few weeks at certain times such as mid-August or early January can cost one 10-15% on their home purchase. For example, the average home price in Arlington is over $700,000 and paying an extra $80,000 is an insane amount of money for waiting a few weeks longer for what one was planning on doing anyway when it was more convenient just because you waited an extra month.
The bump in the Fall is smaller than the one in the Spring but several percent on a $350,000 is VERY significant. The point is if one is going to buy...it's dumb to do it several weeks late and spending $10,000s of extra for same property. In the Fall the buyers flood the market again as they get into their routines--kids going to school, working w/o vacation planning/interruptions and a whole new set of buyers that are just starting with the hopes of being in a new home by the end of the year. All of this means higher prices, multiple offers and writing contract after contract to no avail. This is not to be pushy but rather to provide a bigger picture for how this game is played. so work the timeline to your advantage rather than vice versa my friend. DO NOT GET CAUGHT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BUMPS!!!
For sellers, the worst time of the year to sell are the months listed above that are the best time for buyers to purchase. Sellers listing in July/August/late Nov/Dec/Jan/early February are not going to get the highest dollar for their house. List at the time the demand is highest--not vice versa. I make it a point to tell any potential seller in these months I think we should wait a month or two before listing so don't get caught on the wrong side of "the bump." Imagine the angst of selling a $315,000 in Dec. only to find out they are selling for $342,000 in March. I will always shoot straight with you.
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