I know this is not the time of year most people think about buying a home. We are all distracted with the Holidays coming up, family obligations, travel and wrapping up 2017. But, if you’re looking to buy a home in Austin, putting off your home search until Spring may not be the best decision for your wallet or your head. Spring home buyers face a lot more hurdles – both financial and emotional – than Winter home buyers. What things will you face if you put off your home search until Spring? Here 14 things that will definitely happen if you put off your home search until Spring.
#1: You’ll Pay More for Your Home
Historically home buyers who bought their homes during Winter have paid less than they would have if they bought during Spring. Want to pay less? Get started on your home search now.
#2: You’ll Run the Risk of Higher Interest Rates
There’s been talk of raising interest rates for a couple of years now. Experts are predicting rates will go up in the near future. Will that be before Spring? Hopefully not before you are able to buy! Interest rates are the single most influential driver on payment. It only takes a small raise in interest rates to dramatically increase your monthly payment.
#3: You’ll Pay Higher Moving Costs
Movers capitalize on the busy moving season and raise their prices during Spring. It’s the nature of their business. They understand people can’t wait until their prices go down to move. During Winter, we see movers hungry for business competing and charging lower prices. During Spring, there is so much business, they can get away with charging more, so they do.
#4: You’ll Pay Higher Repair Costs
Same is true for contractors. If you can wait on the repair you need to make, do it during the off season when they are slow. Contractors compete to get the business that’s out there during the slower periods. If there are repairs that need to be done as soon as you move in, resign yourself to the fact that you’ll pay more than if you made the repairs during Winter.
#5: You’ll Face Multiple Offers
If this Spring is anything like the last few Springs (and experts predict it will be), you’ll face multiple offers on nearly every property. Multiple offers don’t give buyers the opportunity to negotiate. Buyers make their best offer and wait to find out if they were chosen. Multiple offers are one of the more stressful situations for home buyers and you can avoid the majority of them buying during Winter or Fall.
#6: You’ll Have Fewer Choices
This may sound like a contradiction to what you’ve heard. More sellers list their homes for sale during Spring, which is true. But, there are also more buyers in the market. So, the number of choices for one person is less than during a period of decreased demand.
#7: You’ll Have to Be Ready to Drop Everything to Scout Homes
The best homes don’t stay on the market long. Successful Spring home buyers are Johnny on the spot, checking their emails several times a day for a new listing. When one comes up, they are there within a few hours to check it out, because they know that’s all the time they might get. Winter home buyers can be a little bit more business like about the process. Though the best homes still sell quickly, quickly during Winter means a few days, during Spring it could mean a couple of hours.
#8: You’ll Have to Wait in Line to Get Inside
I can’t tell you how many times over the past few Spring/Summer buying seasons, we’ve waited in line to get inside a house. I was once at a house 7 minutes after it was listed and had 2 people in front of me to get in. I don’t think this Spring will be any different.
#9: You’ll Have Less Time to Make a Decision to Make an Offer
With multiple offers and lines outside houses, you can be assured a seller will not wait longer than they have to when responding to offers. Often that means buyers have to make a decision to make an offer within a few hours after seeing the property.
#10: You’ll Have Less Time to Do Your Inspections
We can usually negotiate a longer option period during Winter than we are able to during Spring. The Spring competition is about making your offer as attractive as you can to a seller and one of a seller’s hot buttons are short option periods. If you want some more time to complete your inspections so you don’t feel rushed, buy during Winter.
#11: You Won’t Be Able to Visit the Property Multiple Times Before Making a Decision
Buyers won’t have time to come back at several times during the day to make sure this is the house for them. They’ll have to make a decision the first time they see it if they want their offer considered. If you want more time to make a decision, start your home search now.
#12: You’ll See More All Cash Offers on the Most Desirable Homes
We see about the same number of cash buyers (~20% in 2014 in Austin) throughout the entire year, but Spring seems to attract cash buyers on the most desirable homes whereas Winter attracts cash buyers are investment homes. Seemingly, home buyers are going to face more cash buyers in Spring than they would throughout the rest of the year. Cash buyers are pretty attractive to sellers and usually win in competitive offer situations. Want to compete with less of them? Buy during Winter.
#13: You’ll Give the Seller More Control
When the market shifts create more demand than supply, sellers are able to ask for more than they would during times of slower demand. And, they usually get it. If you want the ability to negotiate a deal, rather than trying to put together an offer that makes more sense for a seller, buy during Winter.
#14: You’ll Take the Fun Out of Home Buying
For some, buying during the Spring frenzy is very stressful. We’ve had clients even give up on their Spring home search because they couldn’t take the disappointment. If this type of pressure stresses you out, you might want to consider buying during a slower period. Home buying should be fun and exciting, not stressful and frustrating.
Thinking of Buying a Home in Austin in 2018? Start Your Search Now
If you’re thinking of buying a home in Austin in 2018, start your home search now to avoid the unnecessary headache you’ll have if you wait until Spring. Winter has been the best time to buy a home in Austin for decades and this year is no different.
Our team of buyer’s agents has a combined 58+ years of experience representing buyers. We can help you avoid all of the mistakes and negotiate a great deal on your behalf. We believe home buying should be about counseling you to find the right house for you and your family, not hard selling you the most expensive house you can afford. To learn more about our team, check out our Austin Home Buyers page. Then, fill out our Buyer Survey, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or call us at (512) 827-8323 to schedule a no obligation consultation. Remember, hiring a Buyer’s Agent costs you nothing!