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In the real estate world, there are two main types of markets: the seller’s and buyer’s markets.

You’ll often hear people say it’s a buyer’s market or now is the perfect time to sell because it’s a seller’s market. But how do they know? 

It can be challenging to understand the differences, but we’re here to help! 

This article will explain everything you need to know about these two markets, including what drives them and how they differ. Keep reading for a comprehensive explanation of each market!

Seller’s Market Vs. Buyer’s Market: Key Differences

To explain the differences between a seller’s and buyer’s markets, we must first understand each term’s meaning.

What is a Seller’s Market?

In simple terms, a seller’s market in real estate is when more people are trying to buy a house than houses available on the market. This happens when the demand for properties is high, and the supply is low. 

For instance, buying a house in Sacramento would be considered a seller’s market because the number of people trying to buy homes in the area is higher than the number of homes available.

Due to the high demand, you may not receive as many offers as you would in a buyer’s market. However, you can expect to sell your home quickly and for a higher price than you would in a buyer’s market.

Key Buyer Tips

  • Flexibility: Try to be as flexible as possible regarding the sale’s price, terms, and conditions.
  • Competitive pricing: You may also want to consider offering above the asking price to increase your chances of people accepting your offer.
  • Brace up for bidding wars: You must remember you are not the only one trying to purchase a property during a seller’s market. There will likely be other offers, so you must ensure yours is the strongest one.

Key Seller Tips

  • Review offers carefully: You will likely receive multiple offers on your home, so it is crucial to review each one carefully before making a decision. 
  • Pay for repairs: It is still important to stage your home and ensure it is in tip-top shape before putting it on the market.
  • Work with a pro: It would be best to hire a real estate agent with experience selling homes in this type of market condition. They will be able to help you navigate the process and ensure you get the best possible deal.

What is a Buyer’s Market?

A buyer’s market is when there are more houses for sale than buyers. This can happen for several reasons, but the most common is when the economy is struggling, and people sell their homes because they can’t afford to keep them.

Another reason can be when there has been a population shift, and people are moving away from an area. Whatever the causes are, a buyer’s market provides opportunities for buyers to negotiate better prices and terms and get more houses to choose from.

Key Buyer Tips

  • Ask for home repairs: In a buyer’s market, sellers are usually more willing to negotiate home repairs. If there is any fixing that you would like the seller to handle, be sure to ask for them during negotiations.
  • Take your time: Since there are usually more homes for sale in a buyer’s market, you can afford to take your time and be picky about the home you choose. First-time buyers especially should take their time and find a home that meets their needs.
  • Pay attention to the home’s duration on the market: If a home has been on the market for a long time, there is usually more room for negotiation. You’d want to be careful, though, because there could be something wrong with the home. This is where research and working with a professional come in handy.

Key Seller Tips

  • Pay for repairs: Any repair that needs to be made on the home should be completed before putting it on the market. This is crucial because buyers will be looking for any reason to lowball an offer in a buyer’s market.
  • Price it right: To get buyers in the door, you have to be competitive with your pricing. Work with your agent to find a fair asking price. 
  • Highlight your home’s competitive advantage: If your property has unique features, highlight them. This will help it stand out against the competition.

What is a Balanced Real Estate Market?

This is when the number of buyers and sellers in the market are relatively equal, meaning there isn’t an overwhelming demand or supply of properties. 

This type of market usually results in homes selling close to their asking price and buyers having more negotiating power than in a seller’s market.

In a balanced market, buyers and sellers have a fair chance of finding a property. Buyers are more likely to find homes that fit their needs and budget, while sellers are more likely to find serious and qualified buyers willing to pay a fair price for their homes. 

Because there is less competition in a balanced market, negotiating on price and terms is often easier.

How to Tell if You’re in a Seller’s or Buyer’s market?

The first step is to look at the inventory levels in your area. If homes get snatched up as soon as they hit the market and there are more buyers than sellers, you’re likely in a seller’s market. 

On the other hand, if homes sit on the market for months without any offers, you’re probably in a buyer’s market.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re selling, you’ll want to be in a seller’s market, and if you’re buying, you’ll want to be in a buyer’s market. However, there are exceptions to every rule. Hence, one must do research and work with a professional to figure out the best way to go.


Navigating the real estate market can be challenging for the average person. If you want to buy or sell a home, speak with an experienced realtor to better understand the area you are looking to move to or get out of entirely. 

Do you still want to know more? Contact us for expert guidance in the real estate market. Our team of experienced professionals will help you every step of the way.

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