Anecdotal evidence suggests that we’re moving into a summer slowdown. It’s not unusual for the home-sale market to begin to slow during July and August, when many real estate agents and buyers are on vacation — those months, though, still tend to have higher sales than most other months. The market often picks up again after Labor Day, and October can be a good month for home sales.

A slower market shouldn’t deter you from beginning or continuing your home search, as long as you have realistic expectations. Some real estate agents advise their seller clients to hold off on marketing their homes in August. This means there might be a slowdown in new inventory coming on the market and fewer new listings for you to consider.

Patience is the name of the game in today’s real estate market. There are many uncertainties about where the market is heading. Many economists think we’ve hit bottom, price-wise. But we may not see a significant improvement in home sales for several years.

Buyers need to understand that they could see lower prices ahead, followed by improved market conditions. However, a sustainable recovery will depend on a strong local economy with sufficient job growth to fully stabilize the housing market in your area.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Try not to dwell on national headline news regarding the housing market. Real estate is all about location. It’s imperative that you research your local market to find out what conditions apply there. Home sales in your area could be better, worse, or similar to what’s going on nationally. Don’t make homebuying decisions based on national data.

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