Rick BissonLast week marked the beginning of autumn. A beloved season, autumn conjures thoughts of apple-picking, pumpkin-carving and changing leaves. Buying and selling real estate is not often among these thoughts. However, there are many advantages to purchasing a home in the fall.

Many times home prices, like leaves, fall.

Summer is a peak selling season. Some sellers who put their homes on the market during the prime selling months might have been a tad overconfident by listing their homes for more than buyers were willing to spend. Sometimes, when a property hasn’t sold by the time cold weather starts to creep in, sellers may reevaluate asking prices in order to drum up more interest. Autumn means new inventory and repositioned old inventory that did not sell in the prime season.

There is less competition. Many buyers spent the summer shopping and rushed to get into new homes before the first day of school. Those unable to do so likely resigned to wait to move until next spring. This could mean less competitors, more options, more time to think and less multiple offer situations.

Many sellers are more serious. Some sellers put their homes on the market in the summer to “test the waters.” Having not sold their house, they may take it back off the market when the cold weather returns. Sellers who have their houses for sale in autumn may be more serious about selling and therefore more willing to negotiate with a buyer.

There are tax breaks that can be taken advantage of. Come September and October, people start to think about what year-end tax breaks they might be eligible for. Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year’s worth of income, even if you closed on your home in the fall. Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year.

Whether shopping for a summer retreat or a winter getaway – fall may be the perfect time to purchase a vacation home. A summer vacation home purchased in the fall can be furnished and personalized over the winter and spring months. A home at a ski resort purchased in the fall can be enjoyed over the winter or rented out to earn passive income.

Autumn is also a great time to take advantage of end-of-the-year sales to outfit the new home. There are bound to be improvements desired to be made. Items may need to be bought to maintain the home, and if appliances weren’t part of the deal, it will need those, too.

The same goes for moving companies. Summer is peak moving season. It’s a time when people are more likely to experience delays and service issues caused when moving companies reach full capacity and run short of trucks and labor. The probability of experiencing a service issue or delay in the fall goes way down.

Also, by purchasing in the fall, the home can be all settled in and ready for the holidays.

Current mortgage interest rates are also favorable now. Despite increasing 5 basis points to 3.83 percent during the week of September 22nd rates are historically low. The recent uptick in the 30-year mortgage rate ends a nearly two-month streak of declines.

As always, whatever season you buy in, buy at the best time for you and your family and always consult with your trusted Realtor. If you, or someone you know, is looking to buy or sell, autumn may be the perfect time.

This column is produced by Rick Bisson and his family, who own Bisson Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty of Midcoast and Sugarloaf.