Why Fall Is the Best Time to Buy A House: A Shopper’s Guide to the Benefits of Autumn House Hunting

From less competition to dropping prices, house hunting in the fall season has numerous benefits.

January 2, 2024 min read

While spring and summer are typically the most active home-buying seasons, things tend to cool down by September, much like the weather. But that doesn’t mean you should put off your home search. In fact, the fall can be the golden time to find a home.

Let’s explore why autumn can be one of the best times of the year to buy a home.

There Are Fewer Shoppers

The spring and early summer frenzy of buyers wanting to get into a home before school starts has settled down. You’ll have less competition as homes hit the market.

Very Motivated Sellers

Sellers are often motivated due to less competition from buyers. They may also be eager to sell before the holiday season, which can translate into a good deal for you.

Starter Home Inventory Peaks

Leaf colors aren’t the only things that peak in the fall. Typically, so does starter home inventory, which can be good news for first-time homebuyers. These homes tend to be in the lower-third price range of available houses, making them a potential option for those taking their initial step into homeownership.

The Weather Can Uncover Issues in the Home

Sunny summer weather can hide water-related issues such as roof or window frame leaks. Autumn rains make it easier for your home inspector to see potential water problems firsthand. Cooler fall weather also allows you to evaluate the heating system more effectively.

Uncovering issues that need repair may help you bring down the price of a home, or you may want to consider rescinding an offer if the fixes are too extensive or expensive.

You Could Have More Negotiating Power

With fewer homebuyers in the market, you may be in a good position to negotiate a more favorable price. Plus, sellers may be tired of waiting for a sale if the home has been on the market since the summer. They may be more open to making a deal and hoping to close before the holidays and the winter.

Flexibility on Move-In Dates

Need to move in earlier or later? Motivated sellers may be more willing to accommodate your schedule.

Plus, demand for moving companies wanes in the fall. With more crews available, scheduling your move may be easier, allowing for more flexible move-in dates. Moving costs may also be lower, thanks to off-peak pricing.

Prices Are Dropping

Historically, home prices are highest in the spring and summer and drop during the fall. This is especially true for homes that have been on the market throughout the summer; sellers may lower the asking prices to encourage a sale.

Home Winterization Not an Issue Yet

Milder fall temperatures mean a home’s winterization isn’t yet an issue, but you’ll have time to address any concerns. Prepare for winter’s chill by maintaining the furnace and water heater, sealing cracks and adding insulation, all of which cut energy costs.

More Contractors Available for Renovations

Spring and summer are busy seasons for contractors, but things tend to slow down in autumn. Contractors, subcontractors and skilled laborers may be more readily available to take on your new home’s renovation or repair projects.

Tax Write-Off Before End of Year

Taking advantage of homeowner tax deductions on next year’s returns may save you money, too. Write-offs may only be a percentage of a full year’s deductions (when you’ve been residing in the home continually), but getting in before the December 31 tax deadline means you’ll be able to write off some of this year’s mortgage interest, along with deductions for points, property taxes and home offices.

Summer Listings Are Still Available

There are still homes on the market from summer that some sellers may remove during the holidays and relist next year.

Spring and summer may traditionally be the peak home-buying periods, but the autumn months present several overlooked benefits — from reduced competition to lower prices to greater starter home inventory. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, relocating, moving up or downsizing, autumn can be the perfect time to begin your search and find a home you’ll “fall” in love with. Contact a Pennymac Loan Expert to explore our wide range of financing options for your home loan needs.



resources buying a home real estate

Bradley Thompson
Afton Lambert

Meet Our Contributing Editors

Bradley Thompson and Afton Lambert are Contributing Editors for Pennymac’s consumer content and are exemplary leaders within the mortgage industry space. Both experts take pride in helping our customers achieve and sustain their aspirations of home.

For over 13 years, Bradley has achieved success as a high performer in various leadership roles including consumer direct sales and mortgage fulfillment positions.

With over 10 years of mortgage experience, Afton started her career as a top performing Loan Officer, before transitioning into her leadership role, where she has recruited, hired and trained Loan Officers.

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