Buying homes in the off-season can save money

A lender foreclosure sign rests in front of a house, Thursday, July 24, 2008, in Shaker Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (CNN) – Real-Estate experts say that buying a home in the off-season can have it’s advantages.

Real estate agent Laura Schwartz said that because people are so busy with getting kids back to school and planning for the holidays, the real estate market tends to slow down in the fall and winter months which creates a buyer’s market.

“Buyers have advantages in that usually sellers actually have to sell, so they may be able to get a better price,” said Schwartz. “There’s also usually less competition.”

Schwartz said most sellers putting a home on the market in the colder weather months have to move out for a specific reason, and may be up against a certain deadline, giving a buyer the upper hand. The drop in temperatures in the fall and the arrival of snow in winter can provide an important perspective for potential buyers.

“Does the basement flood; is the roof leaking; is it sunny at the house; or are there patches of the grass that are still covered in snow three months later,” asked Schwartz. “It’s a really different vantage point than looking when it’s sunny and the trees are full and the flowers are blooming.”

Experts also advise that buyers should make sure they don’t schedule closing dates around the winter holidays, when banks and courts may shut down for a day or two, slowing or halting transactions.

Click the following links to find out how the housing market did in Trumbull, Columbiana and Mahoning counties in September. Also, click this link for more in-depth info about Ohio’s housing market.



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