This Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Home, New Report Shows

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 13, 2021

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Looking to buy a place of your own? Here's what you need to know.

Many people have struggled to buy a home in today's market. Low levels of inventory combined with inflated home prices have made it tough for buyers to snag a place of their own.

If you've been struggling to buy a home, here's some good news. We happen to be coming up on the best time of the year to purchase property, according to one major source. So if you keep at it, your luck might change for the better.

Get ready to pounce

Realtor.com reports that between Sept. 12 and Oct. 17, most real estate markets across the country will feature more homes for sale, lower listing prices, and less competition from buyers compared to an average week of the year. This especially applies to major markets like Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Boston, and Portland.

Within that time period, Realtor.com expects Oct. 3-9 to be the most optimal week to purchase a home for most U.S. markets. If 2021 follows the typical pattern, there should be around 705,000 listings on the market that week nationwide. That amounts to about 100,000 more active listings than in July, which is considered the peak season for home buying.

What's more, home prices could drop 2.6% the week of Oct. 3 compared to an average seasonal high. That means the median U.S. home could be listed for about $10,000 less. And in the country's largest housing markets, home prices could dip more than 10% from their peak.

Finally, it's expected that home buyers will face 18% less competition the week of Oct. 3 compared to the summer peak -- and 6% less than the average week. One reason for this could be that the first week of October is early in the school year. At a time when families with children are adjusting to new schedules, searching for homes may be less feasible or desirable.

How to gear up

If you're eager to buy a home and want to capitalize on the upcoming sweet spot, there are a few things you should do. First, contact several mortgage lenders and try to get yourself pre-approved for a home loan. Having a pre-approval letter will send the message that you're a serious buyer whose finances have already been vetted. Plus, once you're pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll know how much of a home-buying budget you have to work with.

Next, find a great real estate agent -- one who knows the market you're targeting well. A good bet is to solicit recommendations from people you know who live in the area that you're hoping to buy in.

Finally, narrow down your wish list. Knowing which home features are most important to you will help you embark on a more targeted search.

Many people have had a hard time navigating today's real estate market. If you're in that boat, you may have a different experience over the next number of weeks. And the best part? Mortgage rates are sitting at very competitive levels, so if you can lock in a home loan soon, you might enjoy a fair amount of savings.

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