What Day is the Worst to Buy a Home?

It’s the last Friday in May. You might argue that Christmas Day is a likely candidate for worst day, but it’s actually one of the best times to buy a home

The problem that arises is not contingent on whether home buyers start looking for a home in February, March or April. The problem is many eventually settle on a home in April. Then, they sign a purchase with a closing date for the last Friday in May. Suddenly, there are a bazillion closings all scheduled for the same day in May.

Reasons to Avoid the Worst Day of the Year to Buy a Home

Why is the last Friday in May the worst day to buy a home? There are many reasons, starting with competition from other buyers and ending with the actual move itself.

  • You might not close on time. Pending sales often peak in April, resulting in a larger-than-average volume of closed sales in May. Normal workloads for real estate professionals can triple during this month, which can result in a backlog.
  • Memorial Day weakens otherwise exemplary service. Many people leave town for long weekends and are unavailable to work on your transaction. Sometimes, lenders can’t process loan documents fast enough to keep up with demand. Fewer days to work in the week puts pressure on closers, too, meaning something has to give. So, it might be your file that gets pushed into June.
  • A delay in closing could mean paying a higher interest rate. If you have locked a loan for 30 days, that rate will expire at the end of that period. If rates go up — often rising because demand goes up — you could find yourself stuck with a higher mortgage payment due to the rate increase.
  • Movers charge more. Moving companies know that many people want to move at the end of May. Increased demand equates to higher moving costs. And that’s if you can find a mover to hire. Some movers are booked solid every weekend through July.

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