Real Estate Buying

The Best Dates to Buy a House and Get a Great Deal

Discover the specific days and months when home buyers pay the least above market value, according to ATTOM's comprehensive real estate analysis.
Savannah Sher Avatar
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Purchasing a home is one of the crucial financial choices you can make and the timing of it could significantly impact the price you end up paying. Recently, ATTOM, a provider of property data solutions, unveiled its yearly report, which delves into the optimal timing for buyers to get the best value for their money.

In its analysis, ATTOM concentrated on days with a minimum of 15,000 sales of single-family homes and condos while excluding holidays, when purchases are minimal. By comparing the sales prices on these specific days with the median automated valuation model (AVM, a statistical database of real estate properties and transactions), ATTOM pinpointed the periods when buyers are more likely to either overpay or snag a deal below market rates. Although buyers still are paying above the AVM in most cases, the following months offer some of the lowest premiums (compared with the 14.4 percent above AVM paid on May 28).

Phoebe Schreiner, a real estate agent for Sotheby’s New England, emphasizes the importance of timing in real estate investments: “There is never a bad time to invest in real estate, but there are definitely times of the year where you may get a bit more value. Timing is very based on where you are in the country. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, look at the off-peak seasons where you will be buying,” Schreiner says.

She adds, however, “You also want to look at how long a home has been sitting on the market. If it’s been on for 60 or more days, and if it stays on the market in those non-peak seasons, the seller may be a bit more motivated, which means you may get a better value.” Let’s break down the best months and dates to buy a house if you’re looking for a great deal. 

September

A couple is hugging while looking at their new home.
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September marks the beginning of a favorable period for home buyers. Traditionally, this month tends to see lower home prices, possibly because the peak real estate season is winding down in many areas. As families get back into the swing of the school year, fewer people are looking to relocate, leading to reduced competition and more motivated sellers. September 7 stands out as a key date for those aiming to make a purchase before the year ends, offering a 4.6-percent premium.

October

Continuing the trend, October is another fall month that’s excellent for those looking to purchase a home. With the market cooling down as winter approaches, sellers who are eager to close before the end of the year might offer homes at more attractive prices. Buyer competition typically decreases during this month, potentially making sellers more willing to negotiate.

October 2 and 10 showed premiums at 4.5 percent above AVM in the ATTOM analysis and October 9 reached only 4.4 percent. In short, early October is a great time for securing deals. October is the best month to buy in Michigan in particular, with a -2.6 percent premium, meaning buyers actually pay below the market value. It’s also a great time to buy in Illinois, with a -1.6 percent premium.

November

November offers unique advantages for home buyers. With the holiday season approaching, the real estate market tends to slow down, potentially leading to lower home prices. Sellers who haven’t yet secured deals may be more inclined to consider lower offers to finalize sales before the holidays, making it an appealing period for potential buyers. According to ATTOM’s analysis, November 13 is a good fall day to buy, with a 5 percent premium.

December

A for sale sign is placed in front of a home covered in snow.
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December is often one of the best times of the year to buy a house. The combination of holiday distractions and colder weather means fewer buyers are house-hunting, leading to lower competition. Sellers who are keen to close a deal before the year ends might be particularly negotiable on price. Overall, December 24 showed only a 5.1 percent premium. December is the best month to buy in New Hampshire, with a -2.1 percent AVM premium.

January

The new year starts with continued opportunities for home buyers. January is often a continuation of the favorable conditions seen in December, with sellers who are still on the market after the holidays potentially becoming more desperate to sell. This can result in significant price reductions and a good bargaining position for buyers. Mark your calendars: January 9 is the golden opportunity for home buyers. With a premium of only 3.8 percent, this day has the lowest recorded national premium for the year. 

Other Months

While the months from September to January generally offer the best deals, there are exceptions based on regional market trends. To get the most bang for your buck, Schreiner says to “look at the off-peak seasons where you will be buying. For instance, if you’re buying in New England, that would be in the winter season.” She adds, however, “The only exception would be if you’re buying a property in a winter resort community, when the peak season would be when buyers are hitting the ski slopes. If you’re in Florida, you would want to buy in the off-season, i.e. the summer,” Schreiner says.

As another example, June can be the best time to buy in Hawaii, possibly due to the end of the school year and the start of hurricane season, which might deter some buyers. It’s essential to consider local factors and seasons when planning your home purchase. Look to buy in February in New Jersey for a -1.7 percent premium. “Work with your agent to identify the “non-peak sales seasons” and leverage those times of year based on the market you’re buying into,” advises Schreiner.