Profile picture for INAE7997

Buy now or wait a few months for more listings?

My husband and I just sold our condo and plan to stay with family for a bit until we close on a new home. I'm very curious about market trends in the winter/spring. Do you think more homes usually go on the market in the spring? Isn't this a dead time (Nov/Dec/Jan)?
There are two homes I kinda like out there now, but if more people are waiting until after the holidays to list, doesn't it make sense to wait and see what is offered then?
Just curious if you Realtors see an increase in listings and during what months... Thanks!
  • December 03 2010 - Howell
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Answers (21)

Best Answer

Profile picture for DaveJonesRealty

The competition in the Spring will be much greater.  The buyers "come out of the woodwork" and the demand for good homes goes up.  If you see something you like, you can probably get a better deal on it now.  Do some research and find a local Realtor for the area you are looking in put them to work for you!

  • December 03 2010
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Profile picture for sryan1980
another wave of foreclosures is due to hit the market in the coming months. that could account for a huge percentage of new listings to come and will drive down overall prices.
  • December 03 2011
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Buy when you find the home you want to live in!

Timing the market in real estate is just as difficult as timing the stock market.  Interest rates are amazingly low and only due to rise. Prices are very low too.  Buying sooner rather than later will probably give you a lower interest rate, which can save you tens of thousands over the life of a loan.

The MOST important issue is this, do you FEEL like the property you are looking at is home?  When you do, buy it! 
  • December 13 2010
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Profile picture for Don Samuelson
Please get a good home inspection. It is a very good idea to get the sewer line scoped with a video.  Fixing or replacing sewer lines to the street can be very expensive.  Don't be afraid to ask the seller to fix problems you find, before you close the sale.  Be reasonable, but big stuff, like furnaces, roofs, sewer lines should be replaced or fixed.  You may need to negotiate on those things but you should not end up with the whole problem unless you really stole the house.  My rule is: if I knew about the problem and the seller knew about the problem when we negotiated the price then the problem is factored into the price.(hopefully)  If it is new news, then things change.
  • December 12 2010
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Profile picture for INAE7997
Well folks, we put an offer on a home. Our Realtor thinks the home is still a bit overpriced, but we definitely like it enough ($75,000 worth of recent major improvements inside and out) and think we'll be happy there. No I have to not check listings so that I don't second-guess our decision!

Thanks again for your responses.
  • December 12 2010
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The market is regional and I believe its much different if a buyer is actively searching in a warm weather state or Minnesota. Today we had a 15 inch snow storm and combined with the already slow holiday season Nov-Dec makes for limited activity. However I have noticed increased buyers and listing inventory towards the end of January. This has been fairly consistent in my 12 years experience. This year I expect slightly less inventory than 2009. Still, I agree it would be a much better time to negotiate now as a buyer.
  • December 11 2010
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We see a huge spiike in inventory Feb-April. I would wait if you don't love anything.  
  • December 11 2010
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For the foreseeable future, there will be great deals on the market. Great deals are a dime a dozen.  Great properties are not, at all.  There is no advantage to waiting to start looking, if you are indeed ready to buy.  In fact, the disadvantage could mean missing out on your dream home.  My best advice is to get out in the field and gather as much information about the market and what's available.  From there, you will know what area homes are selling for, and when the right property comes along, you'll make the right offer.
  • December 06 2010
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Profile picture for Don Samuelson
Great news on finding your home.  Wish it was one of my listings :)
Happy Holidays
Don
  • December 06 2010
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Profile picture for INAE7997
Don, Joan, and everyone else--

Thank you so much for your advise. We've put an offer on a home that we really do like, using a great Realtor that we trust. We're hoping that they'll come down on the price a bit-- and maybe they will! That's the magic of December, right?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

  • December 06 2010
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I think you did answer your own question.  If you will be kicking yourself for the next 20 years, then you probably haven't found the right house.  The winter months can be a fantastic time to buy if you find the right house at the right price, but if you are planning to live there for a long time, make sure the house satisfies almost all of your requirements.  If there is reasonable activity in your market, a desirable, good quality, well priced house will likely sell relatively quickly when it does come on the market, so make sure you are prepared to act when you do find something you love.  Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and work on keeping your credit scores as high as possible.  If you aren't yet working with a real estate agent, ask for recommendations from people you trust.  When you find an agent you'd like to work with, ask them to start sending you listings of houses that meet your needs as they come on the market.
  • December 06 2010
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Profile picture for Don Samuelson
It seems you have not found "the house"  Often it is like love :)  You know it when it happens.  The market isn't moving up any time soon, so wait until Spring if you really can't find a home you love right now. However, I think December is the best month to make a deal.  Sellers who are on the market in December, Really want to sell.  They may make you the deal you seem to be looking for. One last thought.........you are buying a home for your family and hopefully you will live there a long time.  It needs to be what you want or at least can make what you want.  It's not chicken")
hope that is helpful
  • December 06 2010
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You are right, many homeowners have a tendency to take their homes off the market from Thanksgiving until after New Years & others wait until the Spring to place their homes up for sale. However,lhomes really do sell all year long so sellers that do this are missing out on capturing motivated buyers like you..Keep in mind the longer the house is on the market the more willing the owners may be to negotiate the pirce. The newer the listings the less likely they will be to accept a lower offer. So if you really don't see any homes out there you love rather than settle, you may benefit by witing a few weeks to see what happens after New Years.  
  • December 06 2010
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Profile picture for INAE7997

Let me clarify this a bit more... there is no renting going on here. My question is simple, and hasn't really been fully answered:
Do more people generally wait to list their homes in the spring than this time of year now?

Yes, we now have 3 homes we like. We don't LOVE any of them. There is one area in particular that has had recent home sales in our price range, although nothing right now (two just sold this month). We'd love to be able to ride it out a few months until the spring to see if something becomes available.

We understand that the rates could change, that prices overall could go up (we'd be willing to pay more for this neighborhood). We also would like to think that if one of these 3 homes is still on the market in a few months, and we haven't found the home we really want, we'd then make an offer.

I know that if we buy immediately, I'd kick myself for the next 20 years if we didnt' wait at least a few months to see if something came on the market in that neighborhood.

Maybe I just answered my own question? ;)

  • December 05 2010
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Travis: live by the platitude, die by the ineptitude!

Unless the rent to buy comparison is completely in your favor, there are still some serious risks out there, like the foreclosures coming, and the rather serioius lack of demand since the buyer's credit ended..

So, if you can buy it and get a mortgage a good bit less than rent, well then even if prices drop further, the fact that you are paying less each month compensates you for that to some extent.
  • December 04 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Travis, you have made the mistake of seeing a nosebleed and thinking it was more serious. What we see so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

I talked to a realtor a few times in the past. They said they saw what looked like a bottom with prices no longer falling. Now I can see how prices have fallen since then.
  • December 04 2010
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"When there's blood on the street, that's when the greatest opportunities in life happen."  Warren Buffett 

There's blood now on the streets and now is the opportunity.  My clients and I live by this statement.

Now is the time to buy!
  • December 04 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
It is a simple equation. Do you really like those 2 houses enough to live in them happily for the next 30+ years? "I kinda like" does not sound like it.

Buy now you could, but prices falling stick you in place they might (with apologies to Yoda)

How does rent compare to buying? Do you know how ridiculously high taxes are? Property along with income and all other taxes in NJ really hurt.

Sometime as an educational exercise use an online mortgage calculator. Buy a $100,000 house at 4.25% for 30 years with no other costs added. Then try the same mortgage at 7%. Then try 10% interest.
Once you see how much difference it makes try to cut down the $100,000 purchase price to meet the new interest rate with a similar payment. It will scare you.

I did. I learned that going from 5% to 7% interest rates (a small 2% increase) takes away 23.7% of buying power. Put another way if incomes do not rise and interest rates do your $200,000 mortgage payment at 5% will turn into around a $153,000 payment. If that happens to everyone what would happen to house prices? I can only see house prices dropping more to meet the buying ability of purchasers.

Before you think interest rates will not rise look at what the federal reserve has done. They printed a bunch of extra money having nothing more behind it a few months back. Now they are going to print another $600 Billion. They call it "quantitative easing". Anyone who knows anything about supply and demand or economics calls it a surefire way to produce inflation. Once inflation starts the only way to slow it down or stop it is to raise interest rates in this case exceptionally dramatically.

Below is a price prediction site. Look at it again later on. The new predictions for 2011 are coming very soon.

New Jersey
(from 2010 forecast)
Vast numbers of New Jersey residents fleeing the state as a result of rising job losses and one of the highest two tax bases in the country is projected to delay any come back in the housing market  <--- bad news


Home values are still falling, despite rising sales and are forecast to deflate 13.1% in 2010 in Atlantic City.

Trenton is forecast to sustain 8.9% deflation by year's end.

Newark housing prices deflate a forecast 11.7% on average.

Edison is forecast to see average home prices deflate another 7.9% in 2010.


the housing bust has been tough on Ocean City, and is forecast to sustain another rough year with deflation averaging 10.3%.
new projects finished before the collapse of the real estate market give Jersey City a modern appealing appearance. Still, property values are forecast to decline another 9.3% in 2010.

Do you see what I see? ALL city areas they cover are losing value. All prices are dropping. Prices still have a long way to go before a bottom is hit. I personally expect a minimum of 2 more years. It could be more.
  • December 03 2010
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BUY NOW!!! don't pay attention to the fact that case-shiller index sees prices dropping in almost all markets!

BUY NOW!!! don't pay attention that virtually every serious analyst can now see that prices are going to drop...

BUY NOW! don't let the shadow inventory of literally tons of delayed foreclosures, all which absolutely must eventually come on the market and drive prices down is a reality...

BUY NOW!! after all, ALL the real estate agents have said the same thing continuously since 2006... Don't let a track record of being a complete bunch of idiots interfere with their 'expert' advice today.

BUY NOW!!!!!!
  • December 03 2010
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 Even though in the past few years many parts of the country have seen real estate values drop significantly it still makes sense to purchase in todays market...especially for first time buyers. With interest rates at an all time low many times you will find buying may be cheaper now than in the Spring! Like any investment you will still deal with market fluctuation, but when compared to other forms of investing over a ten year span it beats the stock market. Remember this is long-term. I'm sure you are asking yourself what is going to happen to prices here on out? Many experts in the industry believe prices will continue to decrease this year, but we will begin to see some stability next year and gradually appreciate over the next five years. So, you see, there are many advantages to buying now if you are in a good financial situation and have the credit to back it up...just like any investment buy low and sell high!
  • December 03 2010
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Actually now is a better time to buy especially if you have a few places in mind because due to the seasons slowness, it gives you the bargaining power on the price, if you like to make an offer on a property I would appreciate it if you would allow me the opportunity to be your realtor if your not working with someone already, thank you
  • December 03 2010
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