Should I buy now or should I wait till spring?
Now that we are into November, many people are asking me, “Should I buy now or should I wait till spring?” I always say the best time to buy real estate is yesterday and the next best time to buy is today. That means “at some time in the future” is the third and final best time buy, right?
Just the facts
So here are the facts as we know them now.
Inventory is still very low. I recently sold a little house in Columbia Forest. It took about 11 days to sell. I had only 13 showings. I had two weekend open houses and both were attended by ten or more groups of potential buyers (and their agents). That to me means that although there aren’t that many listings or that many buyers out there looking, sales are happening. The motivated buyers and sellers are out there meeting each other and getting deals done.
Here’s another one. About a month ago I listed a Waterloo townhouse that I’ve owned for a decade. I did not put up a sign or do any so-called “marketing” including open houses, videos or social media — since I was my own client I just did the important stuff without any of the window dressings that listing agents call “marketing”. I did the meat and potatoes and not the bells and whistles just to prove one more time again that marketing and brokerages are nowhere near as important as communication and cooperation. It had six showings, got an offer that was what I wanted (market price) and sold within two weeks.
2. Interest rates
Rates are going up. We don’t know what the future holds, but rates will continue to go up, of that I am certain.
3. Business cycle
I work all year round, though I am much much busier in the spring and in the early autumn.
Am I busy busy now? No, not so much. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t homes out there to buy and maybe even deals to be had. People selling now aren’t waiting till spring to sell. I wonder why. Maybe they really want to sell? Maybe they have to sell?
So I guess what I’m saying is, if you are waiting till next spring to buy, what are waiting for? There will be more inventory, sure. There will also be more buyers out there looking. More competition. We will all be a lot busier!
So you have to ask yourself, “are you procrastinating or are you a serious buyer?”
At a recent listing presentation a home seller who is selling in the spring pointed out to me that “statistically, home prices rise in the springtime.” That may be true (though statistics have a way of hiding the reasons why). But what also is true is that in the springtime there will be more buyers competing for the best listings.
Reasons to wait
- There will be more inventory
- Prices might go down
Reasons not to wait
- There will be more competition
- Prices might continue to go up
While you wait
So waiting or not waiting here is what you can do now.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Get in touch with your favourite Realtor and get on a market watch list of properties matching what you will be looking for.
A final thought
Statistically, the best month to buy a home is January, but statistics have a way of not telling you the reasons why.