April showers bring May flowers, but in the DC Metro area, they also bring the height of the spring real estate market. All over social media people are looking at houses, closing on houses, and talking about inventory.
But why is Spring such a great time to buy a home? Why is spring prime time for real estate year after year? What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of the spring market? Let’s examine these questions, and look at some fun facts about the real estate seasons.
Spring is a season of renewal
It might sound simplistic, but it’s true—there is something inherently motivating about spring. After a long winter, the longer days, warmer weather, and even the cultural associations of spring with renewal and new beginnings make consumers think about new purchases.
Whether it’s a new car, new farm equipment, or a new home, spring is the season when purchasing is at its height from a cultural, sociological, and anthropological perspective. Maybe it has something to do with our distant ancestors, maybe it has to do with our agricultural past, or maybe it has to do with the alignment of the stars—for whatever reason we seem to be hardwired to make big changes in springtime.
Buyers have been sitting inside, staying warm, and looking at online real estate resources throughout the winter months. Sellers have been sitting inside, too, and they’ve either realized that they need more space (because the kids have driven them crazy stuck in the house all winter) or they need less space (because they’ve been paying utility bills for rooms they don’t use all winter).
Either way, they are ready to move, and this convergence with the pent-up demand from buyers means things will heat up.
People with kids are pushed by the calendar
Buyers with children want to settle on their home right around the time that the kids get out of school. That way, they can finish out the school year in the current school, have the summer to get settled, then start fresh on the first day of school in the Fall.
That translates to a need to start looking in the late winter, choose a home in early-to-mid-Spring, then close in late May or early June.
No snow means better inspections
A wintertime home inspection means the inspector may not be able to access the roof, may not be able to fully inspect the HVAC, or may not be able to thoroughly check outdoor systems like an in-ground sprinkler system, French drains, or a pool.
A spring inspection allows the inspector to see and examine all of the home’s systems, leading to more reliable inspections and more meaningful results.
Follow the money
People feel better about their finances in spring for a number of reasons. Holiday bills have been paid, school expenses are on the decline, and buyers may have gotten a big, fat tax refund.
Add to that the fact that they probably haven’t been on vacation and haven’t been going out as much and springtime buyers have more cash to put into their home purchase. Meanwhile, homeowners may have been paying big utility or repair bills during the winter, adding to their motivation to sell, especially if they are downsizing.
Now there are some drawbacks to buying in spring. There’s more competition, though this is often offset by more inventory. Because there are more buyers overall, there is less room for aggressive negotiation.
If you’re looking for a bargain, spring might not be the best possible time. Those real steals usually come up in the dead of winter. But for most buyers, spring is the optimal season.
Want some more tips?
Read more: Tips for Buyers to Edge Past the Competition
According to researchers:
- The best day to make an offer is the first Tuesday of the month.
- The best day to list your home is on a Thursday.
- The best month to make a lowball offer in January.
- The best numbers to end your price are 7, 8, or 9.
Ready to take advantage of the hot spring market? Let your Eng Garcia Realtor help you find the right house at the right price to get you moving this spring. Begin your home search at our website and register with us to get started.