Understanding ‘Buyer’s’ and ‘Seller’s’ Markets

Understanding the differences between a 'buyer's market' and a 'seller's market' together with a selection of tips depending on which one you find yourself in

The property market is not a single track experience – rather, it boasts two very different journeys depending on whether you are looking to buy or sell a property. The simple fact is that your place in the market will greatly impact the options you have at any one time, with this blog post uncovering the reality behind both perspectives of the market in an attempt to help understand how both sides work. 

Understanding a buyer’s market

A buyer’s market is named when there are more homes available than there are buyers who want to purchase them. What is essentially means is that the buyers have the upper hand, with sellers seeking to gain a sale – and doing what they can to attract and secure buyers quickly. 

This can mean anything from reduced prices to a greater time allowance on the part of the buyer – anything a seller can do to keep hold of an interest buyer and convince them to sign on the dotted line. 

Understanding a seller’s market

A seller’s market exists when there are more buyers than there are homes on offer, thus putting the power firmly back in the hands of sellers. When a high number of buyers are interested in a single property, that seller has everything they need to drive a hard bargain. In many cases, this can mean upping the price and quickening the process from agreement to final sale. 

What is a balanced market?

For sale sign outside of a house

A balanced market sits somewhere in the middle and occurs when the number of sellers looking to part ways with their property is roughly equal to the number of buyers looking to commit to their dream home. 

This is when we tend to see the price of houses sit at a stable and sustainable rate, with properties being sold for the right price rather than one which is abnormally high or low. 

In short, a balanced market is when the supply meets the demand in the middle, and the two compliment each other seamlessly. 

However, this is becoming more and more rare within the modern property market, meaning that more often than not we see an advantage swaying at one side or the other. Without further ado, here are some tips for navigating the market you find yourself in, according to the position you hold. 

Tips for sellers in a buyer’s market

If you want to sell your home but find that the competition is high and attracting buyers is becoming increasingly difficult, some common recommendations revolve around your expectations while others cover small changes you can make to ensure your home is as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

  • Be realistic with your pricing and don’t try to list your property for more than it is worth. Pay attention to comps in your local area, and what other homes like yours are selling for. 
  • Spend time making your property presentable, so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. 
  • Maximise your exposure by working with a reputable estate agent like Pat Robson & Co. as this will ensure that your property is being seen by the right people in the right places. 
  • Be ready to negotiate if the buyer puts in a low offer. Remember, the ball is in their court but that doesn’t mean you have to accept a super low offer – fair’s fair. 
  • Look for the unique features in your property and show them off. 

Tips for buyers in a seller’s market

If you find yourself on the other side of the fence, trying to buy a property when the choice out there is somewhat limited, don’t worry, there are things you can do too. Some recommendations for buyers in a seller’s market include:

  • Prioritising your top ‘must-haves’ and work out the essentials as opposed to the wants. You might find a property which ticks 75% of your boxes, and while we would never encourage a buyer to commit to something they’re not sure about, 75% might be the highest percentage of boxes you can hope to get at the time. This hugely depends on how desperate you are to buy at a certain time.
  • Be fair and put in a realistic offer. Don’t waste a seller’s time while trying to get a bargain – after all, they hold the power and can easily turn down your offer in favour of another. 
  • Be quick but patient – put in your offer as early as you can but be aware that it may take the seller some time to decide. 
  • Be friendly, especially if the seller is present during your viewing. You never know what their final decision may come down to – and you want them to remember you positively. 

Looking for more advice on navigating a property purchase or sale? Get in touch with our team today for more tips, advice, and support. 

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For sale sign