When buying or selling property, it helps to know where the market stands. As a buyer, you’ll want to purchase a home in a buyer’s market, as there will be an influx of available homes and less competition. But as a seller, you’ll be hoping that you list your house during a seller’s market, so there are fewer properties for sale and a substantial number of buyers interested.
However, regardless of the conditions in your area, hiring a real estate agent is the best way to navigate the housing market. Whether the market is strong or weak, you’ll want to have a leg up on the competition, and real estate agents have the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that you do.
A seller’s market arises when demand exceeds supply. In other words, there are many interested buyers, but the real estate inventory is low. Since there are fewer homes available, sellers are at an advantage.
In a seller’s market, homes sell faster, and buyers must compete with each other in order to score a property. These market conditions often make buyers willing to spend more on a home than they would otherwise. Therefore, sellers can raise their asking prices. Furthermore, the increased interest means that buyers rarely have the power to negotiate and are more willing to accept properties as-is.
Due to the shortage of housing, these conditions often lead to bidding wars. During bidding wars, buyers will make competing offers and drive up the price, typically above what the seller initially asked for.
Know you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to making an offer, keep in mind that you’re the one at a disadvantage. A seller’s market is not the time to try to push contingencies, concessions, specific closing dates or repairs. Focus your attention on what’s most important to you. If there are certain stipulations you want written into the contract, think hard about whether they’re worth losing the property over. If you can make an all-cash offer, you should. Sellers prefer buyers who are willing to buy the house with cash because they don’t have to worry about the deal falling through due to issues with financing.