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People love this time of year. The cooler weather, fall sports and pumpkin spice lattes are just some reasons to rejoice fall’s arrival.

Another reason is the opportunity to buy a home. Less competition, the start of a new school year and the postponement of AC repairs are some reasons why aspiring homebuyers look at the fall as their time to shine.

If you’re looking to take advantage of this home-buying season, here are some tips that can help you cross the finish line of homeownership.

Be patient when viewing listings
The listings of available homes may be a little thin, so your patience with the inventory is a requirement.

This cold weather reality means you’ll have to take your time, follow the market and strike once the right opportunity arises, and you find the home of your dreams.

Know the motives
Why is the home on the market?

Since the traditional selling season is well behind us, it’s important to inquiry as to why the sellers have put their home on the market.

One reason may be that the sellers had difficulty finding the right buyer. Or, relocation may be part of the equation.

Whatever the reason, use your findings to benefit your negotiating leverage.

The weather factor
Yes, it’s getting a little chilly and it may not be the best time to tour homes.

But, this is to your advantage.

Few people plan to enter the market this time of year, which reduces competition and increases your chances of making a successful offer.

Narrow down your must-haves
While the market will feature smaller inventory at this time, it’ll force you to narrow what you truly yearn for in a home.

Sellers are making concessions, and this is the one you’ll have to make: fewer choices. So before you enter the market, make a short list of what you really want, and then go from there.

Remember, you have the buyer’s edge during this traditionally slower-moving real estate market.

Visualize your dream home
What makes shopping for a home in the spring wonderful is that the flowers are blooming and the skies are clear.

This may not be true this time of year, though.

It’s important to not lose your vision. The property may not look in tip-top shape, but that’s no reason to lose sight of what’s possible.

Picture how your home will look like once winter has ended and you may really like what you see.

This will be the icing on the cake because there are so many other advantages to buying a home during this time of year.