If you’re considering buying a home, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to start your search during the warmer months. Is summertime a smart time to house hunt?
As with any major decision, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying a home during the summer. We break them down below, and offer some tips for streamlining the process if you decide to enter the summer housing market.
Advantages of buying a home in the summer
There are numerous pros to summertime house buying. These include:
- More houses for sale. Typically, there’s a little more inventory on the market during the summer. This gives you more options from which to choose.
- More motivated sellers. Sellers who are looking to move before the school year starts in the fall may be more willing to negotiate on price or contingencies, since they’re motivated to make a quicker sale.
- Better weather. It might not seem important, but warmer temperatures – and longer daylight hours – can make a difference in terms of your ability to get out and see homes more easily.
Disadvantages of buying a home in the summer
Summer house hunting is not without its cons, including:
- More competition. Generally speaking, there are more buyers in the market during the summer months (for all of the reasons listed above). This can lead to more competition and higher prices.
- Less time to negotiate. Homes tend to sell more quickly during the summer months, and sellers might feel less of a need to negotiate due to the aforementioned competition.
- Higher moving costs. Moving costs tend to be higher during the summer months, simply because there is more demand for services like moving companies.
Ultimately, whether or not to buy a house during the summer months depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you want to avoid stiff competition and a potential bidding war, you might be better off waiting for a more traditionally quiet season like the winter.
If you do decide to start your search in the summer, here are some tips to help you be more successful:
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking. With a loan in hand and a solid idea of how much you’re able to spend, you can pinpoint your search and avoid making an offer on a house that is beyond your budget.
- Be flexible – but ready to move quickly. Since homes sell quickly in the summer, it’s in your best interest to be able to move quickly with an offer if you find a house that you like. And being flexible about when you can move will improve your odds with sellers who are looking for a fast sale (or who, for whatever reason, want to sell fast but don’t want to move out immediately afterward).
- Hire an experienced real estate agent. Given the potential challenges of buying a home in the summertime, you’ll want to retain the services of an agent with deep experience, local knowledge and strong negotiating skills. Doing so will make the house buying process easier and less stressful for you, from start to finish.
Buying a home in the summertime might seem daunting, but with a little preparation and some expert assistance, you can set yourself up for the best possible outcome.