After years of studying the market, I came to the conclusion years ago that the best time to buy a home is between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Although this doesn't square with the traditional school-year market cycle, maybe that is exactly the point. More listings come on in the spring, and many more buyers are out there looking. They often wait, hoping to have the broadest possible choice.
In the past few years, choice has not been as much of a problem. We in Connecticut have a higher absorption rate, meaning that our current supply of houses would last for longer at the current rate that properties are selling. That results in more homes for people to look at during all times of the year. And, since we have the lowest birth rate, fewer of our buyers have young children than in other states.
So why does that make this the best time of year? For tax reasons, you can still get your purchase done before the end of the year, but that's not the biggest factor. The biggest factor is that sellers do not want to take care of properties through the winter. They have just started heating them, and, if the Farmer's Almanac is correct, they are going to be plowing much more snow than usual this season. They also know that buyers are scarcer, and that it's harder in winter to get your home ready to sell, plus the landscaping that can sell a home is often less appealing in cold weather.
All of that combines to make sellers more amenable to offers at the end of the fall. They, too, would like to conclude the sale before the end of the year in many cases. They, too, would like to start the new year with a different address. Use those facts to prod yourselves into action, if you are buyers, and add them to the fact that interest rates, while low already, are usually at their lowest right around Election Day. That's next week, so you'd better get moving!