Life is all about timing. One would think in a society where so much is readily accessible at our fingertips, the timetable at which someone chooses to make a purchase wouldn’t be as relevant anymore. Yet, we continue to see that throughout the year, there are strategic days and months that have favorable impacts on the price and cost of certain goods and services.
Most consumers are well aware of significant discounts starting from Thanksgiving for the holiday season - but the calendar is full of savings throughout the year depending on what you are looking to buy. Amazon just held their third annual “Prime Day” and reported record sales beating out its numbers for previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping periods. In fact, Prime Day sales were higher than both shopping holidays combined in 2016. It’s all a matter of timing.
September and October, for example, seem to be the best time to buy plane tickets for holiday travel, as well as purchasing Broadway tickets to an expensive show. Similarly, it is also the time of year that new vehicle models come out, and auto dealers are most eager to get the “old” inventory off the lots at a discount. The months of May and June appear to be great months to make big-ticket purchases for the home - such as major appliances, furniture, décor items, equipment and tools. Indisputably, it pays to carefully watch the life cycle of your desired product to see when the newest, latest and greatest release comes out – whether it is smartphones, clothing, cars, TV entertainment systems, etc.
The question is, does the same concept hold true when it comes to real estate and home purchases? Zillow, the real estate behemoth, came out with some interesting reports over the past few months in this regard. They didn’t want to be overly obvious and blatant with their analysis, but through some research and diligence I was able to decipher some interesting data.
Listing a home toward the end of spring significantly increases a seller’s chances of selling their home faster and for more money, according to their analysis. Specifically, it seems that selling in the beginning of the month of May in particular, helps sell homes faster and for approximately 1% higher than the average comparable listing thereafter. Conversely, the best time to buy a house is at the end of the summer. Summer tends to be a very busy season for home buying and selling, but it’s a sellers’ market and competition is most rampant at this time of year. Analysis reveals that there are approximately 10 other bidders for each house previewed during the heat of the summer days. Buyers should expect heavy competition and should be prepared to be aggressive and quick with any home they are interested in pursuing.
For those buyers who can wait it out, the end of summer brings the most favorable conditions. Home price cuts happen because sellers get worried that their homes won’t sell, and are more are willing to negotiate. A RealtyTrac analysis of home sales over the past 15 years specifically identified late September and October as the best month to buy, at a considerable discount with less competition and pressure. Homes that are still on the market, the theory goes, might be the most motivated to sell at that time. Of course, the potential downside to waiting is that there is often less of a selection.
Yes, timing is everything, but if someone needs to buy-or-sell a home before the start of a school season, or before beginning of a new job – they don’t have the luxury of time to wait for discounts or deals. Similarly, market conditions such as mortgage interest rates and home inventory play an important part in the overall pricing structure. Working with a knowledgeable professional - at all times of the year - is truly the only way one will truly be advised best.
Special shout out to The Sharks: Elana and Devorah.
By Shmuel Shayowitz
Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience including licenses and certifications as certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at [email protected]