The days are getting longer and the ice cream truck jingles are echoing up and down the street. However, the surest sign that summer is here is the “For Sale” signs popping up in your neighborhood.
Why battle the crowds and bidding wars if you are in no rush to move? If you are thinking of starting your home search, your first instinct, as a savvy shopper, might be to stay away and let the weather and the market cool down. But there is no reason to sweat the idea of buying in the summer. In fact, there are some distinct advantages to making your way into the marketplace during real estate‘s hottest season.
Prices Aren’t Necessarily Higher
A huge myth about the real estate market is that homes sell for more in the summer and less in the winter. Home prices do usually peak from June to August and it is a seller’s market, in most areas (including Lakeland). However, other forces, beyond the summer sun, play a major role in a home’s asking price. They include the number of similar homes also for sale in a given area, interest rates, and the job market.
What is true is that there are more homes on the market in the summer than in the winter, and there is also a higher number of sales in the summer than the winter.
Inventory is Broader
You wouldn’t buy a car from a dealer with only two models for sale, so why limit your options when it comes to picking a house? The open-concept kitchen you’ve been yearning for or the home in a stellar school district is much more likely to pop up in a busier marketplace.
The larger inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and locations. Buyers feel more confident in their search because additional properties hit the market every week. In some less competitive markets, knowing that there are plenty of homes for sale can give you more leverage for price negotiation, and peace of mind knowing that, if you have to walk away, another home will just be around the corner.
Buying and Selling at the Same Time Could Be Easier
If you need to sell your current home before you can buy another, you will likely have an easier time, with the balancing act, during the summer. Rather than getting trapped with two mortgages, you could have a more seamless transition in a busier market. If you need to sell a home before buying, the home will be more likely to sell, and potentially at a good price, allowing you to purchase your new home sooner. However, these transactions take time, so, if you are planning on pulling off a double act, get ready as soon as possible so you can capture as much of that golden season as you can.
School’s Out for the Summer
Any parent can tell you why this factor is crucial. By waiting until summer to make your move, you can minimize disrupting your kids’ lives. Plus, their schedule is clear to bring them to showings. House hunting during summer break from school means that kids can more readily attend showings, which is important when the time to write an offer comes around and parents want each member to approve of the new family home.
If the seller has kids, they might also be trying to cement a sale in time for the new school year and will, likely, be more motivated toward the end of the season. Sellers, who find their properties still on the market as summer draws to a close and the ranks of buyers thin out, may be more open to price negotiation.
You’ll Get to Know the Lay of the Land
It is easier to do a little detective work on your potential home when the weather is nice and the days are longer. Trees and flowers are in full bloom, so you will get a better idea of your yard. You can step out, on that back porch, and envision what it will really be like to live there. Plus, everyone is more active meaning you will get a better feel for the community. Summer brings people out of their homes, so while you are home shopping, you will get the chance to take the pulse of the neighborhood and see your potential neighbors.
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