The “Buying Season”

by Eric Chang on June 9, 2009

When is “Buying Season?”

Most agents and buyers agree it runs from late Spring til the end of Summer. Herd mentality often compels buyers to get into contract within this period. However, they should consider: Is Buying Season necessarily the best, or only, time to buy? Special situations certainly will necessitate buying before September—like registering for the new school year.

But for me, my favorite time of the year for buyers has always been the Fall. (My old partner at RE/MAX used to recount how her clients would emerge from the woodwork to buy after realizing, around the holidays, how much in taxes they’d be paying that year.)

Autumn is a very opportune time. It’s easier to avoid the insane feeding frenzies of summer; competing buyers and agents have wound down their activity for the year. Sellers often feel pressured to sell their homes at a reasonable price, with the New Year looming. While others are out caroling, buyers should take advantage and keep househunting.

Staying focused will be difficult during the holidays. The downpayment may end up raiding the family Xmas fund…but there will be much worth celebrating at the close of escrow.

Spring to Summertime (April – September)
PROS: larger inventory, somewhat better selection quality, good weather
CONS: heightened buyer competition, vacation time conflicts

Fall and Holidays (October – December)
PROS: reduced buyer competition, downward price pressure
CONS: less inventory, selection quality is hit-or-miss, shortened daylight hours

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