Home BuyingTips for buying fall real estate

So you think that the hottest home buying season is in the spring and summer? Think again. September through November can also be a perfect time to shop for real estate.


So you think that the hottest home buying season is in the spring and summer? Think again. September through November can also be a perfect time to shop for real estate.

In the fall, sellers are more likely to drop their prices, fellow homebuyers could be leaving the market - meaning less competition - and you'll still be eligible for year-end tax breaks related to homeownership. These are just a few of the perks of buying in the fall, compared to any other season.

Of course, fall home buying requires a few specific tips and tricks:

1. Research the market
The first step homeowners should take is to research their real estate market. The fall can be tricky because of the change in seasons and demand. In some regions, home prices will actually increase due to the weather change. Think San Diego, where the temperature is relatively stable year-round, or ski resort towns in Colorado, where the snow brings more demand. While the general rule is that prices and demand slip in the fall and winter, it all depends on the local market.

2. Look for summer leftovers
There's nothing wrong with a summer home leftover. These are the properties that made it all the way through the hot buying season without a deal, and this means home sellers may be more willing to negotiate. This time of year, buyers can swoop in and offer a competitive deal and they just might be able to purchase their dream home at a price that is substantially below the asking price.

3. Find the flaws
Believe it or not, another perk of shopping in the fall is the weather. The rain, the wind - and sometimes snow - can really test a home's condition. Buyers in the summer may not have the ability to judge home upgrades, repairs and maintenance. Buyers in the fall, however, can do just that by keeping an eye out for clogged gutters, leaky roofs and poor drainage. All of these elements will be incredibly important not just in the coming months, but year-round.

Armed with these four tips, fall homebuyers may have an easier time finding the perfect property during this time of year.