The days are getting longer. Ice cream truck jingles echo up and down the block. But the surest sign that summer is here? It just might be those “For Sale” signs popping up like dandelions in your neighborhood.
Yep, we’re smack dab in the middle of the most popular time of the year to buy and sell a home. If you’re thinking of starting your home search, your first instinct as a savvy shopper might be to stay away and wait for the weather—and the market—to cool down. Why battle the crowds and bidding wars if you’re in no rush to move?
But there’s 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 housing’s hottest season—as long as you can stand the heat of a little competition.
1. 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. This is simply not true.
Let’s be clear: Home prices do usually peak in June–August. And it’s a seller’s market in most areas. But 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, however, is that there are more homes on the market in summer than in the winter, and there is also a higher number of sales in the summer than the winter.
2. 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 large 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.
3. Buying and selling at the same time could be easier
If you need to sell your current home before you can buy another, you’ll 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.
But remember, these transactions take time, so if you’re 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.
4. School’s out for summer
Any beleaguered parent can tell you why this factor is crucial. By waiting until summer to make your move, you can minimize disruption to your kids’ lives.
And if the sellers have 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.
5. You’ll get to know the lay of the land
It’s easier to do a little detective work on your potential home when the weather’s nice and the days are longer. Trees and flowers are in full bloom, so you’ll get a better idea of your prospective new yard. You can step out on that back porch and envision what it will really, truly be like to live there and host your long-anticipated Margarita Mondays. Plus, everyone’s more active, so you’ll get a better feel for the community.