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  1. Business

Thinking of buying a home? You may want to wait until October

Looking to buy a home in the Tampa Bay area? You might want to wait until the end of October.

Over the past 15 years, according to RealtyTrac, buyers nationwide have realized an average discount of 2.6 percent below full market value on sales that closed in October. In Tampa Bay the discount has been greatest — 12 percent — for closings on Oct. 29.

RealtyTrac says it based its finding on an analysis of 2.7 million home and condo sales, comparing average sale prices to average estimated market values at the time of closing to determine whether buyers paid a premium or got a bargain.

Nationwide, homes that closed on Oct. 8 sold for the biggest discount — 10.8 percent. The next best days were Nov. 26 (10.1 percent discount), Dec. 31 (9.7 percent), Oct. 22 (9.6 percent) and Oct, 15 (9.1 percent).

RealtyTrac acknowledges that the sale price is usually set weeks before closing, but says those five dates are worth heeding.

"Given that the five best days are in the next three months, buyers looking to get the best deals should be starting to look at homes and make offers right now because it typically takes about 30 days or more after an offer is accepted for the sale to close,'' said Daren Blomquiest, Realty Trac's vice president.

Some other tidbits:

•After October, the prime months nationally to close at a discounted price are February, July, December and January

• The worst month to close is April, when buyers have paid an average premium of 1.2 percent above estimated market value.

• Monday is the best day to close, followed by Friday. Thursday is the worst.

• Homes that closed on Jan. 19 sold for the biggest premium — 9.6 percent more than the estimated full market value.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate