Is it a Buyer's or a Seller's market?

Is it a Buyer's or a Seller's market?

This is a common question, and one that can definitely be answered with statistics. To quickly get to an answer, we recommend using the Market Review dashboard, because it gives you a single page view of several metrics at once, with a short history for comparison.  A complete explanation is below, and here's a quick chart that shows which metrics to use in making your determination.




Active Inventory
High number of units
Low number of units
Percent of Ask Received (Negotiating Power)<98% or dropping over time; Power rests with Buyer
> 100% or raising over time; Power rests with Seller
Days on Market (Sales Speed)
More days or increasing over time; Homes sell slower
Less days or decreasing over time; Homes sell faster
Close PriceDecreasing; Homes sell for less
Increasing; Homes sell for more

Buyer’s market 

A buyer’s market is one in which there are more properties for sale than there are buyers. This means home buyers have the upper hand and enjoy more choices in properties, as well as more negotiating power when making a purchase. If you’re buying a home, this is the ideal market to do it in.

In a buyer’s market:

  1. Homes take longer to sell.
  1. Buyers have more listings to choose from.
  1. Buyers have less competition.
  1. Buyers can make lower offers and negotiate more on sales price and closing costs.
  1. Sellers may have to do more to market their properties.
  1. Sellers may need to lower their price points.

Seller’s market

A seller’s market is the opposite. In a seller’s market, there are fewer listings than there are buyers, and buyers face stiff competition among themselves. Because of this, they may encounter bidding wars or their home search might take longer than expected. If you’re looking to sell a home, a seller’s market is the best time to do it.

In a seller’s market:

  1. Buyers may have a hard time finding a property.
  1. Homes sell quickly.
  1. Buyers face stiff competition.
  1. Sellers can demand higher price points.
  1. Sellers can be picky with who buys their home.

Balanced market

In a balanced market, buyers and sellers are on even ground. The number of homes for sale is on-par with the level of demand, and neither side has an upper hand. Balanced markets tend to last for shorter amounts of time than buyer’s or seller’s markets, and they usually occur between the transition from one market to the other.

In a balanced market:

  1. The number of homes for sale is in line with buyer demand.
  1. Appraisals are on par with offers.
  1. Home prices aren’t rising or falling steeply.
  1. Neither home buyers nor sellers have much power to negotiate.

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