Trying to sell a house in a buyers’ market can be tough. But it’s certainly not impossible. You might even have some degree of control over the situation, though the market seems to be stacked in the buyers’ favor. But you have to know your market, and you have to work hard to outshine the competition. That’s what we will discuss in this lesson.
Let’s kick things off with a brief definition, just so we’re all on the same page. What is a real estate buyers’ market, anyway?
Definition of a Real Estate Buyers’ Market
In housing terms, a buyers’ market occurs when there are (A) plenty of homes available for sale, but (B) not enough qualified buyers to “absorb” them all. In other words, there is a high level of supply but low demand.
A seller’s market is the exact opposite. It occurs when there are few homes available but plenty of buyers. Low supply, high demand.
It begs the question: What kind of real estate market are you in right now? This will vary from one city to the next.
Some cities like San Francisco are almost always in a seller’s market. There is very little new construction, and there are many people who want to buy properties. This creates a classic sellers’ market.
But other cities across the U.S. are experiencing buyers’ markets right now, often due to a glut of inventory.
So you really have to understand what kind of market you are in, and whether it favors the buyer, the seller, or both parties equally. There are several ways to gain this kind of insight.
* Read your local newspaper. Home prices and housing markets are always a hot topic. So your local news is bound to be watching it closely.
* Use the Internet. Do a Google News search for your city’s name, followed by the phrase “housing market” or “home prices.”
* Talk to a real estate agent. If anyone is in a position to make the call between a buyers’ market or sellers’ market, it’s an experienced agent. These people deal with buyers and sellers every day of their lives. So they can be a great source of information. Besides, if you are truly in a buyers’ real estate market right now, you might need some professional help to get your home sold quickly.
* Seek out friends, family members or coworkers who have either bought or sold a home in the area recently. Ask them about their experience. They should be intimately familiar with the current state of the local housing market.
Don’t just assume you’re in a buyers’ market, as many homeowners do. Find out the truth. Do some digging.
It’s important to focus on local trends when conducting your research. The national media tend to lump all real estate markets together into one bucket. In truth, there is no such thing as “the” housing market. Housing-related conditions vary quite a bit at the local and metro level. The regional differences can be even more dramatic. Do your own local research to find out where you stand. Or seek help from a real estate professional.