Are you looking to buy a home this fall? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re purchasing your seventh house, some things will be the same for all buyers in an autumn market. No matter who you are, the real estate market this fall requires some preparation. This season is often a great time to buy a home, but there are some factors you need to take into consideration! These include knowing what the 2021 autumn market will look like, the benefits of house hunting in the fall, and what you need as a buyer to be ready. Let’s dive into the expectations for this year’s fall market.
What to expect this fall
In a normal year, we usually see a busy spring and summer real estate market, with a bit of a cooldown when we get to fall. Buyers are often more competitive in the warmer months, with a higher chance of bidding wars. This increased competition also results in higher sold prices as sellers can get away with raising the asking price on their homes.
However, this year, Ontario should expect to see a decently busy fall market as well. According to RE/MAX, housing activity in Ontario should stay steady throughout the rest of 2021. First-time home buyers are driving most of the demand in Barrie, which is expected to continue throughout the fall season. However, while price increases might occur, they will not be as big as they were in the summer.
Reasons to buy in the fall
Best picture of the home
In the summer months, when the weather is nice and warm, our surroundings always look more beautiful, including houses. When the sun is shining, everything looks wonderful, but how about during snowy, wet months and grey skies? Everything takes on a more dull look, but this is actually a good time to look at homes! When you’re house hunting this fall, you’ll get to see how homes really look without any distractions from summer planters, lush grass, etc. In the fall months, it’s easier to focus on the house itself, which gives you a better idea of its quality.
Less competition from other buyers
Since the fall months are generally slower, this means there are fewer buyers in the market for a new home. While you can expect bidding wars in the summer, you are less likely to have to deal with this in the fall. This takes a lot of pressure and stress off you and probably gives you more time to submit offers. It also means professionals like agents and brokers are often less busy and have more time for your needs.
Better chance of negotiation
Sellers aren’t as fond of a cooler market because it means they have fewer buyers and offers coming in. For you, this means you have more power over sellers than you would in a summer market and are in a better place to negotiate with prices and other conditions. If sellers need to sell their home as soon as possible, they are more likely to meet you halfway. Unlike in the summer months, they may not have a dozen other buyers they can turn to. You may be able to buy a home below asking, for example, which can increase your options as a buyer.
Consider your own situation
Hopefully you’ve been saving your down payment for a while if you plan on house hunting this fall. Since a down payment is the highest upfront cost of buying a home, most people need to save for a long time before they can actually hit the market. Whether you’re saving for a five per cent, 10 per cent, or 20 per cent down payment, make sure it corresponds with your budget. Be sure to familiarize yourself with CMHC insurance as well if your down payment will be below 20 per cent.
Speaking of budgets, you need to have one in place! Right now, the average home in Barrie sells for $793,000. Since this is an average across all housing types, this figure could be higher or lower for you depending on the type of home you want. It’s important to decide on the property type you’re after, such as a condo or a detached home. From there, you can work out what a realistic budget might be before you go house hunting. A budget helps you stay focused on homes you can afford, so you don’t waste time on properties outside your range.
When do you want to move? Do you have a firm date, or are you flexible? This will determine if you will be a buyer this fall or if you’re looking at a winter or spring move. Your move might depend on work, school, or family. Maybe you have months to find a new home, or perhaps it’s necessary to move this season. Whatever the case, pick a definite deadline if you have one. Work back from there to figure out when you need to start house hunting, getting pre-approved, and meeting with an agent.
Whatever your situation is and whenever you plan to move this autumn, house hunting in the fall has some unique benefits and considerations to remember. With a little preparation (and the help of a broker!) you can find a home to call your own this fall.
If you have any questions about buying a home this autumn, get in touch with me!