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What is a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

Sold home for sale sign

At any point in time, the current temperature of real estate sales will be described as a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. 

Most home sellers or home buyers become confused about what a buyers’ or sellers’ market means to them. This is something that an experienced real estate agent can explain by showing you the most recent data on what’s going on in your area. 

When you want to sell your house, it might surprise you to learn that there are times when putting it on the market is going to result in a quick sale. But another time will lead to your home sitting on the market for months without an offer. 

Selling a house works just like any business does. Sales are based on supply and demand. When you have a lower inventory than you have customers, the demand is high. 

So that means that it’s a sellers’ market. This market can also change even within the same town or city. One neighborhood might be a sellers’ market, while a neighborhood a mile down the road will be a buyers’ market. 

You have to keep in mind that the data for one particular city or town may not mirror what’s going on in another. You can have a buyers’ market in one city and a sellers’ market in another city in the same state. 

The difference will be determined by the length of time it takes for a home to sell.

The desirability of one neighborhood over another can be affected by several factors.
  • Area amenities
  • School district
  • Home’s proximity to highways, shopping, restaurants, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Sales price of the home

If a buyer has many homes to choose from in the area he wants to be in, it’s a buyers’ market. In other words, there is more supply than demand.

If there are few homes in that area, then it’s a sellers’ market. Simply put, not enough supply for the demand. We have been experiencing this market in the Pittsburgh area currently. 

Looking at the current inventory and the pending sales will give you an understanding of whether your area is in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. When you divide the available properties for sale by properties sold in the last month, you will get the inventory rate. Generally, if the inventory is 5 months or less, we are in a seller’s market, 7 months or more a buyer’s market, and 6 months is considered a neutral market.

The news has been buzzing about our current seller’s market. We have experienced an unprecedented demand. We have received multiple offers with homes selling well over the asking price.

Everything is cyclical. I have seen the market change from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and back again in my 27+ years as a Pittsburgh real estate agent. Consequently, I have learned how to handle various real estate situations. Proper preparation and pricing are key to selling a home in either market.

My experience can be an advantage to buyers and sellers whether we are experiencing a buyer’s or a seller’s market. Contact The SAYHAY Team at 412-755-3600 to schedule a free consultation.

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