Labor Day, while a celebration and tribute to working men and women across the country, also marks the end of summer. By the time this holiday rolls around, school supplies are flying off the shelves and pools are closing down for the season. With Labor Day, we slowly transition from hot Missouri lake days to bonfires and apple picking season.
With all of the autumn excitement comes a tangible shift in the real estate industry as well. Labor Day and the end of summer typically indicate some major market changes that buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike should pay close attention to. According to Forbes, “While some homeseekers might throw in the towel after Labor Day and wait until spring to begin a new search, others will find some definite advantages to starting their home pursuit in September.”
More often than not, homebuyers prefer to lock down their new living arrangement by the start of the school year. It makes sense as parents want their children to be properly settled and enrolled in a new school district before classes begin. However, child-less homeseekers or empty-nesters are free to begin their search whenever they please. In September and early autumn, there is often less competition among buyers. It’s incredibly advantageous for these homeseekers to start the search at this time, as less competition means less pressure, more time to think and lower prices for buyers.
And speaking of money, home prices are historically lower in the fall. It’s practically Real Estate 101. Summer is often seen as the prime time to sell, driving competition among buyers way, way up. But what happens to the homes that aren’t sold by Labor Day? Oftentimes, this is a major wake-up call for sellers. They typically reassess pricing and are willing to negotiate on more than they previously considered. Buyers who are not constrained by the school-year timeline should certainly consider this before ending their search early.
Labor Day also marks a unique opportunity for buyers and sellers in vacation destination spots, like the Lake of the Ozarks. As Forbes describes, “After you’ve had a particularly lovely time at your summer getaway spot, you might consider buying a place in the area and going back every year.” Sellers should seize this opportunity right around Labor Day. Conversely, buyers who make vacation home purchases in the fall give themselves ample time to furnish and fully decorate their new lake house by the spring. All around, Labor Day presents a fantastic real estate opportunity for buyers and sellers alike.