Pros and Cons Of Buying During Real Estate’s Peak Season

Despite all the data that suggests when you should buy/sell during certain seasons; there are major benefits and disadvantages to buy/sell during peak seasons. Spring is the season in which real estate markets tend to heat up, unless you’re living in the northern most part of the United States. Some markets even begin to heat up for buyers during the end of winter.

Let’s take a look at spring and see the pros and cons of buying during the prime season.

Pro: Much more inventory

Once April arrives the property listings start showing up all over the place. The reason is that homes show better in the spring, as opposed to having fall debris, and snow covering them. Spring brings blooming flowers and sunshine to add to the curb appeal. Sellers psyche tells them they can get out of the house now that the weather is warm out and they become motivated to sell. Success breeds success (usually), and soon-to-be sellers hear about all the bidding wars, and what the house down the street sold for, and decide to get in on the action.

Cons: More competition

As many homes are there are to select from, there are way more buyers out searching for their dream home. Spring will bring a plethora of potential bidders who sat out the previous season, and are ready to jump in the market. Having all these buyers will beget bidding wars, which drives up prices. Having so much demand allows sellers to price their homes higher than what they would if they listed in fall.

Pro: Perfect time for family shopping

Moving the family around is always stressful, but at least in the summer you won’t have to worry about moving in the middle of the school year. In order to move in the summer, you need to start house hunting immediately. Most families prefer to be in their new house before school starts, and a typical home transaction takes anywhere from 60 – 90 days. Get on the trail and find that house!

Con: Stress can lead to bad decisions

If you are feeling the pressure to find a home before the school year starts, odds are you will start compromising. If you are trying to change school districts before fall you convince yourself anywhere is good. Chances are you will forget common sense at the door and ignore the flaws of homes. Just remember to use your head and that you will be in this house for a long time, so don’t make any rash decisions.

Pro: Weather makes for easier house searching

No one likes searching for homes in the winter; just getting out of the warm car is hard enough. Driving in terrible weather, stomping through messy yards, kicking your boots off outside, and not getting a full picture of the home’s potential because the landscape is dead, all what searching in the winter looks like. The spring holds a much different picture. The sun is out, birds are chirping, the landscape is alive and vibrant, and the home is looking good (if the seller is maintaining it right).

Cons: Move quickly

Buyer’s urgency levels rise when they have more sunlight. Things just move slower in winter. With low inventory, there is little to haggle over. Again, spring is a different story, buyers are active and on the move. There isn’t a whole lot of time in spring to write out the pros and cons of neighborhoods, houses, etc. you need to be ready to submit an offer quickly once you find something you like.

Pro: May have extra equity in your pocket

Spring has potential buyers feeling flush with their money because Christmas is long-gone, school expenses are dying down, and a tax return may be on the way. When there’s a little extra cash, you can bid a little over the asking price, or spend it on moving, extra inspections, or closing costs and things that build up while under a new contract.

Cons: Spring doesn’t provide much negotiation room

Spring isn’t the best time to negotiate because chances are you will have to offer more than the asking price to even be considered. Fall and winter are the bargain seasons, not spring. Competition will likely be fierce, so be prepared for a bidding war. Since you have strong finances, you may overspend, so keep that in mind. Stay smart, and talk to your real estate agent for a good strategy.  

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