The question this week is sort of an age-old question and a really good one: Is it better to buy and sell a home when school is out? Right now in North Texas the typical timeline to find, get under contract and fully close and fund on a home is about 90 days. It can definitely be done faster, but it wouldn't be smart to plan for a lot less.
It might take you two, three, four or five weeks to find something. Then it's definitely going take you four-to-six weeks to get it closed and funded unless you may be an all-cash buyer. So I would plan on that being attended 12-week process in all. So you give yourself the time and the freedom to find a home you love, not be pressured into buying something, overpaying for something or settling for something that you didn't want.
So that being said, let's go back to the original question, is summertime when school's out the best time to buy and sell? My short answer is no, but I'll say this, it's still a great time to buy and sell. It's not necessarily any better because of real estate reasons. It might be better for you for personal reasons. It certainly sounds like a good idea to move when the kids are out of school.
Now here's the deal: If you're moving far enough that the school that your children would go to is changing, then this certainly makes more sense, or maybe during the winter break or the summer break. I typically prefer the winter break, but the summer break is fine too when the kids are out and you can transition them from one school to another, one campus to another, during that type of break.
Other than that, if you're moving within the neighborhood or within the district area where you're going to stay at the same school, I've counseled many clients over the last 20 or so years through the idea that moving while your children are in school is actually really helpful. The kids can be at school all day while you're managing the details of what can be a stressful situation even if it's not super stressful. It's a detailed, time consuming and energy-consuming process.
So the reason I say “no” is not because it's definitely universally the best. It's important to think about whether you’re doing this because you personally thought through what is best for your family and finances, or are you doing this because it's something people have sort of always said you should do? People have always said that's the best time.
My philosophy around this is if people have “always” said it, I want to question it. I found some of my biggest gains, improvements, growth, and success have been when I did something different than everybody else in our business. We don't want to be like every other real estate agent. We want to be world-class. We want to be more like a world-class surgeon than the normal agents.
So just think about that for you and your situation. Summer's a great time to move. There's nothing wrong with that. We go back to school in North Texas in mid-August, which means you really need to be closed and funded on a house by mid-July so that you have that the 30-day period of living out of boxes and figuring out what goes to what closet and drawer before. Kind of the craziness of back to school and heading into the fall season starts again.
Now a lot of people would prefer to get into that new house early summer so they can enjoy the new home, the additional space, the backyard, the lower expenses or whatever it may be all summer long. And in order to do that right now, mid-March is the best time to get started.
So you give yourself the wiggle room, you have that full 90 days, mid-March to mid-June. 90 days gets you to mid-June so that you can give yourself plenty of time to shop, not be pressured into buying something, get it negotiated, leave time for any repairs or any potential delays, and then still get into that home and be able to enjoy the whole summer.
So is it the best time to buy and sell? Depends on your family situation. There is no real estate market reason to think that the summer is better. Summer can be actually an expensive time to buy for buyers. If you don't have a great strategy in summer, it can be a highly competitive time to sell for sellers.
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