Buying a home is one of the bigggest financial transactions you'll ever make, and one that you need to time just right to get the best deal possible.
Here's what the research tells us.
The best months to buy a home
Generally, the best time to buy a house is in the late summer or fall.
Shoppers will find plenty of homes on the market, but not as much competition for them as in the spring and early summer, when more buyers are on the prowl. So there's a greater likelihood you'll get a bargain.
Sellers are more willing to cut their prices as back-to-school approaches, because they get nervous that they won't be able to make a sale before the cold weather arrives and buyers go into hibernation.
That means during August and September you find the most house listings with at least one price reduction, Zillow says.
The best days to buy a home
The single best day to buy is Dec. 26, because almost no one is in the market on the day after Christmas.
Sellers eager for a sale are willing to give discounts below market value averaging 1.3% — potentially worth thousands of dollars, says Attom Data Solutions, a real estate information company.
Attom looked at four years' worth of sales and found that other buyer-friendly dates on the calendar include Dec. 4, 7 and 29, Oct. 12 and Nov. 9.
The best day of the week to close on a home purchase is Monday, when buyers get discounts averaging 2.3% below market value, according to a 2015 study from RealtyTrac, which is now part of Attom.
Friday is the second-best day for buying and brings discounts averaging 2%.
The worst times to buy
If price is most important to you, don't buy a home in spring or during the first part of the summer, particularly not in June.
That's when houses tend to sell the fastest, leaving homebuyers with little room to negotiate. You'll pay a higher premium in June than at any other time of the year, Zillow says.
And generally midweek is not a great time to make a home purchase.
On a Thursday, you're likely to get a buyer discount averaging 1%, smaller than on any other day of the week, says RealtyTrac.
But wait ...
Keep in mind that the best or worst time for you to buy a home may depend on your location.
If you live in a place with a warmer climate, like Florida, you won't find the typical seasonal differences in home pricing. Sellers won't be in a rush to make a deal in September because they're not worried about any change in the weather putting a chill on the housing market.
The key timing for you also depends on your interests.
If what you want most is having the greatest number of homes to choose from, and you don't care as much about getting a bargain, you may prefer to buy during the busier spring and early summer.
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