Holly Shuffett6-Minute Read
UPDATED: May 24, 2023
For many, springtime means sun, flowers and excitedly making plans for the summer. But if you’re looking to buy a home, springtime might look like open houses, bidding wars and stiff competition for the homes you want. That competition can make getting into the home of your dreams more challenging, but it’s not impossible – you just need to be prepared.
Here’s a guide to help you understand the spring housing market and determine whether spring is the best time for you to buy a house.
For most regions, the spring housing market begins in April and lasts until June, with July marking the start of the summer housing market. But if you’re from a warmer area, the spring home buying season may begin as soon as January and last until May. If you’re from a colder region, your spring market may be much shorter depending on the weather, as it will coincide with the melting snow.
During this period, the supply and demand for housing can be frenzied – a frenzy fueled by warm weather, lush lawns and easier access to open houses. The warmer weather can also fuel an influx of new listings, giving buyers more homes to choose from.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the spring season stimulates more activity in the housing market and higher list prices than the fall and winter months. However, prices aren’t at their peak yet. You may get a great deal on a stagnant listing that didn’t sell during the winter.
Despite the low prices you may find when buying a house in the winter, many prospective home buyers don’t want to travel to open houses across icy roads or through snowy weather. Since the days are also shorter, it can be difficult for a home buyer to visualize everything a property offers against dark, cloudy skies. Not to mention, the winter months are usually hectic enough with the holiday season in full swing.
That’s why buying real estate in spring can often be more appealing. During the spring real estate season, factors like road conditions, holidays or weather most likely won’t pose an issue. Moving by yourself or with a moving company shouldn’t raise any safety concerns – although you may have to pay a moving company more than you would during their offseason.
When buying a house, you want to do everything you can to get the best deal and ensure a seamless transition into your new home. Here are some best practices to help guide you when buying real estate in spring.
To help determine whether you should buy a house in the spring, you should take a look at current market conditions. Market conditions include whether it’s a buyer’s market versus a seller’s market, current mortgage rates, real estate trends in your desired areas and more. These conditions can fluctuate throughout the year – even during the spring season – so it’s important to evaluate each condition before buying real estate in spring.
With the potential for an overly competitive market in the springtime, it’s of the utmost importance that you’ve done your research and know exactly what you want. Being decisive and prepared can be the best way to make offers that stand out or score your dream home before the price goes up.
Here are a few factors to research well before participating in the spring real estate season:
The more you can research before you start house hunting, the easier it will be to identify the top properties for your needs.
It can also be beneficial to have your loan options sorted out well before entering the spring real estate market. Consider applying for mortgage preapproval before you start touring homes and attending open houses. This way, you’ll know how much home you can realistically afford, as well as which lender will give you the best interest rate you can lock.
Buying a house on your own is possible, but it’s much easier when you have an expert on your side. Let’s look at a few experts you’ll want to work with throughout your buying experience.
Real Estate Agent
Before entering the spring real estate market, you should consider working with a real estate agent. Real estate professionals can offer in-depth knowledge of an area and even help you get your dream house based on concessions like an extra moving day or a more flexible schedule.
Real estate agents are also valuable if you get caught in a bidding war or are worried about paying more than a home is worth. They can conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) on a home and offer estimates and contractor referrals for any renovations the home may need.
You may also want to consider enlisting the help of a home inspector for the spring housing market frenzy. Unlike the weather extremes you might experience during the summer or winter, spring’s mild climate may not highlight any potential issues in a home.
A home inspection can bring to light any issues with a home’s structure, core systems like the plumbing and HVAC units, windows and window frames and any other features that might influence your decision to purchase the home.
The homeowners who already live in the neighborhood you want to live in are the perfect candidates to ask about any concerns. Check with other parents about the quality of the school district or ask local business owners how busy downtown can really get.
Locals can offer expert insight into a community – flaws and all.
Due to the influx of buyers during the spring real estate season, you should do everything you can to secure a competitive edge and make your offer stand out. One surefire way to stand out is with a Verified Approval Letter (VAL).
A VAL is an effective way to boost your credibility as a buyer. Having a VAL on hand shows a seller you’ve made plans for financing, and you’re serious about the purchase.
Because financing issues are a common culprit for many failed home sales, presenting a VAL will give your seller peace of mind – and just might land you the sale.
Have some more questions about the spring real estate market? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about buying a house in the spring.
Experts expect the 2023 spring housing market to be calmer – with lower prices than in previous years – but remain competitive. They also say buyers shouldn’t anticipate a drastic increase or decrease in home prices. To decide whether buying real estate this spring is a smart move, work with a real estate agent to evaluate home prices and current mortgage rates.
Spring can be a great time of year for buyers who want to move into a new home before the next school year begins. There’s typically a higher inventory of homes than there is during the winter months, and longer, sunnier days make the season ideal for open houses.
If you’re a home seller, spring may be an ideal time to sell your home. The best time to sell a house is usually at the beginning of May because increased competition among buyers typically leads to higher sales prices.
The best time of year to buy a house will depend on your situation and your needs. If you want to see a wider selection of homes for sale, spring and summer may be best for you. If your priority is lower prices or less competition, fall and winter may be a better time to buy. Either way, speak to a real estate agent to help you make informed decisions during your house hunt.
Buying a house at any point in the year can be stressful. Each season presents different pros and cons for home buyers. But as long as you know what to expect in the spring real estate market, you should be able to make a deal on a home you love.
If you’re ready to buy real estate in spring, don’t leave things up to chance. Get approved for your mortgage now and be ready to make an offer as soon as you find your dream home.
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