Obviously, the timing of your new home purchase must take much into consideration, but if you're not concerned about having your closing timed to the kids getting out of school, a change of job locations or some other consideration, you might find it a surprisingly good idea to purchase in the winter months, when real estate sales are traditionally slower.  Why?  Several reasons:

1.  You're competing with fewer buyers for the property of your choice; most people don't even begin looking for a home until Spring.  About 40% of homes, on average, are sold during May, June, July and august.

2.  Sellers usually understand that their options are a bit fewer in winter, and yet they are ready to sell - so are often more willing to negotiate in winter months.  

3.  Your agent probably has a bit more time in winter, as Spring and Summer months a successful agent tends to be slammed - and a good agent recognizes the difference in the market between winter and the warmer months.

4.  It's often less expensive to buy those "necessities" for your home during winter months - appliances, cookware, etc.  Mind you, do NOT go forth and purchase on credit - don't even open a lay-away account for such things, because it can negatively impact your credit score and debt-to-income ratio; just wait till five minutes after closing, and take advantage of those winter sales.  October is a great month for lawnmower sales in many places, and November is often a great month for new appliances and cookware. Not to mention those after-Christmas and New Year's sales!

Take everything into consideration to see what works best for you.  Certainly, winter purchasing may not work for all - but you might negotiate a sweeter deal in those dreary winter months when the real estate market slows down.  In Louisiana's Acadiana region, things normally get a bit slower once kids are in school in August, and remain somewhat slower until after the first of the year.  While things used to pick up considerably the day after Mardi Gras, recent years have seen great upsurges in activity starting in January.