If you're noticing fewer 'For Sale' signs now that summer is over, that's because fall is starting and school is in session. But fall can be a great time for home buyers and sellers for a lot of reasons. It may not be the busiest season for realtors and home sellers, but it definitely can be one of the best for finding the perfect property for you or your family. Here's a list of reasons why fall is a great time to house hunt or sell a property.
1. The Holidays Are Right Around the Corner
The pre-holiday window is a great time to catch buyers before the chaos of the holidays fully hit. Most people want to move into a home and settle down before they have to host Thanksgiving or decorate for Christmas, so the urgency to close quickly is usually helpful for sellers and realtors. Plus, buyers will have the advantage of having movers available for scheduling since it's not as busy as the spring and summer seasons.
2. Avoid the Peak Real Estate Season
Summer is usually the busiest time for selling homes, since families looking to buy want to move into their new homes before school starts. So by fall, most of that competition is gone; for that reason, most people consider fall to be the off-season for real estate. One of the big benefits for sellers is that buyers are more serious if they are still looking to buy in the fall, which means your realtors have a better chance of finding a buyer for your home. And for sellers, you're more likely to see price drops for the homes you thought were too expensive in the summer.
3. Property and Sales Tax Before the Year Ends
If you're a first-time homebuyer, it's important to note that while you still have to pay income tax, you can chip some of what you owe off when you become a homeowner. Property tax and mortgage interest are two deductions you can take off your whole year's worth of income, regardless if you closed on your new home in December. There are also other tax breaks for home sellers, like selling expenses. Closing costs and home improvements can also be write-offs for sellers.
4. Fall is a Safer Time of Year for Buyers and Sellers
It might actually be safer to buy or sell your home in the fall because fewer burglaries tend to happen during the colder season. Burglars actually do have peak seasons, with July and August being prime months. Waiting until the fall to purchase a home allows buyers to really scope out a neighborhood and learn more about the home. It will also allow you more to time to set up any new alarm systems you may need before the summer comes around again. And of course, for sellers this means your home remains safe from theft during the selling period.
5. Bargains and End-of-Year Sales
One of the best perks of buying a home in the fall is all of the end-of-year sales that will be happening -- great for home renovations or home improvement projects you want to begin once you purchase your new home. Things like carpet and paint are bound to go on sale, plus home appliances tend to be cheapest in November when Black Friday happens. It's also great for home sellers, in case there are any upgrades to the home you'd like to make to attract potential buyers.