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What's the best season to buy property?

I am going to an auction in December to buy my first house but I have been told that if someone is selling around this time, they must be desperate to sell. What’s your view on this subject and how should I prepare for the auction?

Historically, the best time to auction a property is the spring and then early autumn. Houses with their gardens in full bloom are always at their best in spring. Summer is affected by the fact there are big school holidays where few decisions are made. House advertising can be unleashed in February after the holidays, and autumn is when everyone is back, so March and April are selling months. Autumn can also be a nice time with beautiful coloured leaves. Winter is cold and houses don’t look as good and is a lesser-preferred period for home sales.

I have bought a house in December to mid-December — and that’s a sign of desperation. The person I bought from had bought another house and had a few delays, which put him under the gun in terms of when he could auction. The people who turned up to the auction were cagey as most knew it was a bad time to auction and there had been some interest rate rises which spooked a few bidders. The price he wanted was a little over the top and that’s why he failed at auction. We were the top bidders at the failed auction and so we had first offer and it was not one he wanted. He kept it going hoping for other bids and one did come in, which was a little higher than ours but the agent gave us another chance and we topped it. We saved about $250,000 by buying then. That was a great buy and it has always made me happy to buy in December.

Often people have to go overseas or interstate and that can be the reason for auctioning but it still means they could be more willing to take less than their reserve price.

Do a lot of research on the average prices of similar houses and once you arrive at a price, stick to it. Only change it if the auction tells you that your research was not right, but make sure you know what is the maximum price you should bid to so as to avoid being an investment dummy.

For advice you can trust book a complimentary first appointment with Switzer Financial Services today.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Friday, June 11, 2010

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