When Is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Home?
Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Asking yourself “what is the value of my home” in today’s market?
Check out our Free Online Home Price Estimation Tool.
Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation
When is the best time to buy a home? When is the best time to sell a home? These are age-old questions in real estate. Perhaps a better question is, “Is there a time that’s best for buying or selling?”
Because so many factors are at play, there’s really no definitive answer. Let’s talk about what those determining factors are, starting with mortgage rates.
Rates are constantly ebbing and flowing, so it’s important to be mindful of what they’re doing as you prepare to buy a home. There are all sorts of online mortgage calculators that can guide you through the process and won’t cost you anything to use. Simply search “free mortgage calculator” and once you find what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to plug in the approximate price range for the home you’re looking to purchase and get an idea of the current prevailing interest rates.
Though it’s rarely talked about, it’s important to keep in mind that the prevailing interest rate will influence your monthly mortgage payment more than the price of the home itself. Many buyers assume that rising home values will have a bigger impact on their payment, but they’re mistaken—interest rates are the true driving force behind what you pay. Even if home prices are increasing by $10,000 or $20,000, it’s far less consequential than the interest rate attached to your loan. That means if rates are hovering in the high 3% or low 4% range, it’s time to jump into the market.
Second, consider the fact that statistics only tell part of the story. What do I mean by that? When we’re trying to determine if it’s an optimal time in the market, we can use national, state, and county stats as a barometer, but we can’t forget that real estate is hyper-local. For that reason, we need to pay more attention to neighborhood- and area-specific data, and we should really limit our research to a particular region or metro area. Don’t base your understanding of what’s happening in the market on national media coverage.
Finally (and most importantly), your personal circumstances matter. Beyond external factors like market conditions and interest rates, give careful thought to your specific situation. Do you need to move because of a job relocation? Do you want to quit renting and purchase your dream home? In the end, no matter where rates are at or how the market is behaving, when it’s time to move it’s time to move. The bottom line is, the right time to buy a home has less to do with the market and more to do with your individual circumstances.
As we approach the fall selling season, I’d like to end by shattering some misconceptions about our seasonal market for all you sellers. The first common misconception is that buyers tend to stay out of the fall market, so it’s no use listing this time of year. In reality, between September and Thanksgiving, buyers enter the market by the flock in hopes of finding a home before the holidays. So long as the weather holds up, fall is actually the perfect time to sell.
So if you listed your home this past spring or summer without success, consider re-listing your home this season. It may very well be your opportunity to get your home sold and for a great price while most other sellers sit this season out.
If you have any questions or would like any real estate advice whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or email. I’ll talk to you soon!