Today is 'The Worst Day of the Year to Buy a Home': Find Out Why

Congratulations, dear home buyer! Now that the "Worst Day to Buy a Home" (January 19) has passed, you can now proceed with closing on your largest investment.

Wait-- is there really such a day?!

A 2015 study by ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac) revealed that buyers who closed on January 19 paid, on average, 9.6% above the estimated market price. And in case you're thinking that we're just sweet-talking you to finally close on that home deal, the results are backed by data of 32 million home sales compiled from the years 2000 to 2015. Researchers compared premiums paid over estimated market price and found today to be the worst day (and the best to be October 8, in case you're curious).

For the record, however, that today being the worst day to buy a home is not because of a jinx or a curse laid upon by an evil home seller on all home buyers, past, present, and future. The study suggests that the schedule of your home shopping (and not your home closing) is to blame.

The Good of Shopping in Winter...

Home shopping in winter isn't all that bad, especially if you don't mind trudging through snow and sleet while wearing several sets of clothes to keep you warm on your way to check out the property. After all, there'll be less competition (not everyone would want to go home shopping in the bitter cold with their entire closet contents on their shoulders) and more sellers wanting to make a deal for an energetic buyer like you.

...and Here's the Bad Part

But, considering that it takes time for you to close on a property, the price you agreed to pay for the home may have been driven by competition LONG before winter arrived at your (new) doorstep. In places like NYC, homes close at an average of 90-120 days. With that calculation, you may have zeroed in on your home, submitted an offer, and initiated escrow at a time when other buyers were vying for your choice. This, directly or indirectly, may have hiked up your purchase price without you even knowing. And the bomb drops on Jan. 19, when most deals from the previous high-competition selling season come to a close.

...and the Holidays Didn't Help Either

If you're buying a home in an area with quicker closing time (say, 30 days), it means you've done your home shopping last December. While experts agree that home shopping in the winter has its advantages, it may not always work to your best interest as a buyer to shop at that time. Frustrated sellers often take the home off the market for the holidays, with plans to relist at an adjusted price by January. So, you've probably chosen from a much-reduced selection of open homes. But who cares if you didn't see the entire catalogue... You zeroed in on one you like, right? Right?

So, do we advise you to schedule your home shopping to avoid January 19?

Experts would advise you to do some research about your market's average closing time and make you plan your home search with what data you've gathered. However, a date shouldn't hinder you from buying a home. If you're in the market to buy, then there's no need to be put off just by a "dreaded" date (which isn't even jinxed, mind you!).

Home shopping in winter has its perks-- less competition, more peaceful (or none at all) bidding wars, and negotiable prices-- these are all good reasons for a buyer. But, if you're too worried about the said date, you can easily close on January 20th if you like. Surely, that's a bit more lucky, it being Inauguration Day?

Want to learn more about the facts behind January 19 and it being the worst day to buy a home? You can click on the original article from which this post was based here.

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