Fall best time to buy

While summer is a huge season for real estate — particularly for children with families — fall is fast becoming the new prime time to purchase a home. Autumn offers certain benefits to homebuyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather conditions for moving and a wide selection of homes on the market. Check out these advantages of buying after Labor Day.

More choices
Home demand may not be as intense in fall as it is during spring and summer, but it’s still high. Competition also can increase. You may experience pressure to buy, due to the quick turnaround of houses on the market. But you’ll also benefit from the broad selection of homes available. In fact, between September and December, you may be able to visit several open houses in a single day. Listings also will be updated frequently, so check in with your Realtor on a timely basis to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream home.

Less competition
In some cases, you’ll find new inventory and repositioned old inventory that didn't sell during the prime seasons. This puts buyers in a choice position to negotiate, as many homeowners are motivated to sell before the holidays. If possible, buyers should let these sellers know that they can close before Thanksgiving or the winter school break.

Sellers are fatigued
Homeowners who sell during the peak times of spring and summer sometimes list their homes for more than buyers are willing to spend. After months of no action, these sellers often are prepared to make a deal. With fewer buyers, they will be more likely to accept a low offer than to wait for spring or summer to arrive. Given the home-buying competition and the short, pre-holiday timetable in autumn, you may be tempted to place a bid that’s out of your price range, for fear of losing the home. Before you make an offer, know what kind of house you need and what you can realistically afford, and stick to your budget.

Sellers are serious
Some people need to sell in the fall because the timing is right—they were building a home that's now ready, or maybe they need to relocate because of a job. A seller who is eager to move could be more open to negotiating and accepting a lower offer.

Tax breaks
Come September and October, people start to consider any eligible year-end tax breaks. Fortunately, for homebuyers, owning a home can yield great dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from your gross income. That interest also can be deducted if you have prepaid some interest before the due date of your first payment or you close your loan before year’s end.

Outfitting your home
You’ll probably want to make some improvements after buying a home. You also might need maintenance supplies and appliances. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your home purchase coincided with sales on items you’ll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is a great time for buying carpet and paint. Lawn mowers also go on sale in October, and appliances and cookware are less expensive in November.