The best time of the year to buy a home is…

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Best time to buy a home
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If you’re in the market to buy a home, now may be the time to act!

The best time of year to buy a home is the week of September 22-28, according to Realtor.com. The real estate site analyzed 53 of the largest real estate markets in the United States from 2016 to 2018.

Best time of year to buy a home

While the leaves haven’t quite began to fall in most places, the indicators show that home prices might — and that makes it a great time to buy, according to the analysis.

Here are some key findings from Realtor.com on why the week of September 22 is so important for both homeowners and buyers:

  • More sellers will drop prices: About 6% more homes will be reduced in price compared to an average week.
  • More homes on the U.S. market: The third week of September typically sees about 6.1% more inventory than the average over the rest of the year.
  • Less competition from other buyers: Traffic from rival buyers is 26% less during this week than the average.

“As summer winds down and kids return to school, many families hit pause on their home search and wait until the next season to start again,” Realtor.com’s senior economist, George Ratiu, says in a statement. “With dramatically less competition, persistent buyers will feel the scales tip in their favor, as eager sellers begin to cut their prices in an effort to entice a sale.”

In the Western U.S. you may have a greater advantage, according to Realtor.com.

States like California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington will see about 30% less competition and 22% more homes for sale. And prices will be 4% lower.

Money expert Clark Howard says taking a methodical approach can help you find the right home.

“I used to have a rule called the 100 House Rule: I wanted you to look at 100 houses before you made an offer on a home,” he says on his podcast. “Today, you can look at well more than that online in a couple of days.”

“Now it’s all about being thorough and not focusing on one house.”

Action plan: 3 things to do before you buy a home

Here’s are three suggestions Clark has when it comes to choosing a potential home:

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  • Don’t be sentimental: Clark says it’s the #1 mistake you can make when shopping for a home.
  • Find your zone: “These are streets, neighborhoods,  and areas that you would be comfortable living in.”
  • Select some target houses: Clark says the last time he bought a home he narrowed down his list to 18 target houses and finally bought one of those.

“The more methodical you can be when looking for a home, the better you’re going to do,” he says.

Want to learn more about what to look for in a new place? Check out how to buy a home in nine steps.

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