Navigating the fall and winter housing market

Home buying

(CNN) - There was a heat up in the real estate market during the summer months, but with fall and winter approaching, opportunities for buyers and sellers could start to cool down.

With more buyers and tight inventories this spring and summer, sellers seemed to have the edge. That's certainly still the casein East Texas right now, but financial experts say nationally- as the calendar moves into the fall and winter- buyers may have the upper hand as sellers try to close a deal.

"They may be more inclined to actually give you their property at a better price because they don't want to risk going through the holidays still having their home on the market when really all activity comes to a screeching halt." says Personal Finance Expert Vera Gibbons. 

Even before open houses, sellers can get a jump on attracting buyers, online.

"You want to make sure, most importantly, that your home looks really good online." says Gibbons. "Since over 90 percent of buyers start the homebuying process online and if they don't like what they see, it's on to the next house."

The fall will mean less competition than the busy summer months, but less available inventory, so buyers should have finances in order before looking.

Also be mindful of how an extended partial government shutdown could stall applications for federally backed loans, and income and identity verification for banks.

"If this shutdown actually continues, that would not be good for the mortgage loan process. That would slow it down, and it would inevitably be very bad for the housing recovery and for the broader economic recovery, so that's a huge risk as well."



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