Monday, July 30, 2018
By Shirley Swafford
Why Buying A Home After School Starts May Be Smart

School is starting soon and that means families are settling into a routine after a summer of vacations, late nights, ball games and hectic schedules. You had hoped to buy a home during the summer but there was no time. Don't worry! You may have waited for just the right time.

1. Less competition

Once school starts, there are fewer buyers to compete with on your offer. Most families prefer to move before their darlings head back to school. Also, cooler weather drives down demand. In fact, from now until February, buyers have more leverage than during the rest of the year because there’s still a large amount of inventory relative to the time of year, says Jonathan Smoke,’s chief economist.

2. Prices match market value

If homes listed during the busy summer months didn’t sell, chances are that they were overpriced. That means homebuyers will see prices fall more in line with market value, says Mark Goldman, a real estate instructor at San Diego State University and a loan officer with C2 Financial Corp.

Working with a real estate agent who can assess asking prices can help you avoid overpaying, Goldman says. If you want to buy a home that’s priced higher than what your agent estimates to be appropriate, submit an offer that’s in line with market value and with comparable sales data attached to back it up.

3. Time on market

Another issue that works against sellers (but favors buyers) is the length of time a home has been on the market. The longer a home sits unsold, the more bargaining power a buyer has, 

“If the home and location seem to fit, don’t cross it off your list just because of the time of the year or the time on market,” Smoke says. “There will always be sellers who need to put their home on the market.” Also, the services related to buying — moving, buying furniture, signing up for cable — tend to be discounted toward the end of the year and during winter, Smoke notes.

4. More flexibility on terms

In a typical seller’s market, where bidding wars and multiple offers abound, buyers have little room to ask for concessions. But in a slower selling season, the tables are turned and buyers have the upper hand, Goldman says. In a slower market, you’ll find more flexibility on terms such as:

  • Closing costs.

  • Repairs/cash credits toward repairs.

  • Buyer concession to sell home first.

  • Closing timeline.

Likewise, if you are willing to give a seller more time to close, he or she might sweeten the deal by leaving behind a hot tub or offering a repair credit. If you want to ask for reasonable concessions when you buy a home, this is the time to do it.

Citation: Kearns, D. (2016, September). 4 Reasons to Buy a Home After School Starts. In nerdwallet. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from