After summer’s oppressive heat, fall is a great time to be outdoors and an especially good time to be out house hunting. But, you ask, isn’t summer the best time to buy/sell a house? It can be, especially for sellers, but fall just may be the season for buyers, even though there may be certain challenges such as school being back in full swing. Here, then, are a few reasons why fall is a great time to buy a Northern Virginia house.
In general, fall home sellers are more serious, which definitely makes fall a great time to buy a Northern Virginia house because it tips the odds in your favor. Many home sellers are eager to close before the end of the year to take advantage of the tax benefits. This means, then, that because such sellers are highly motivated, you will have much more negotiating leverage and may wind up getting the home you want at a lower price than you would during spring or summer. Simply put, fall is a great time to buy a house.
Fall is also a great time to buy a Northern Virginia house because inventory is low. On the face of it, this may seem counter-intuitive, but it can definitely work to your advantage as the buyer.
Fewer houses to choose from (low supply) would seem to indicate scarcity and, as a result, higher prices. But, remember, fall sellers are motivated and buyers are fewer, so prices stay down. In addition, the low inventory can save you a lot of time and effort. You won’t have to comb through hundreds of listings to find what you want, so it becomes easier to narrow down the list of possible properties.
In the fall, you’ll encounter far less bidding competition, which means you won’t get involved in bidding wars that drive up a house’s price. You can take your time house shopping and negotiate a better deal. Many home buyers have already made their purchase because they hurried to close before the first day of school. Less competition means, then, that you can take more time shopping for exactly what you want and negotiating the best terms and that you probably won’t be facing many (if any) multiple-offer situations.
An often overlooked fact that makes fall a great time to buy a Northern Virginia house is that trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants begin to shed their foliage. And this means that you can see the house better – including the flaws that may have been hidden behind summer greenery. For this reason, house hunting during the fall keeps you from buying a house with hidden flaws – like rotten siding or peeling paint, things you would later have to pay for out your own pocket – because the house will be nearly fully exposed at this point.
Flexible Move-in Date
During the fall you’ll be more likely to negotiate a flexible move-in date, rather than having to stick to the standard 30-day close. Sellers know that fall is full of holidays and other events that disrupt schedules, and in most cases, they won’t make you close on the day before or after Thanksgiving, for instance. It’s much easier during the fall to negotiate delayed or expedited closings.
So fall can be a great time to buy a Northern Virginia house. Still, there’s much more to it than just buying at the right time. And that’s where a qualified real estate professional can be a great help, especially when it comes to finding the house with all your desired features and in your price range.