What is the Difference between a Seller’s Market and a Buyer’s Market?

We’ve been in a seller’s market since 2012. In a seller’s market, there are fewer homes for sale while there are more buyers looking for homes. This gives the seller more control over terms, as they get to pick and choose buyers and usually get close to what they ask for in price. Right now, homes typically sell for 97% of their listed price.

In a buyer’s market, the exact opposite is true. There are many homes on the market but buyers are few and wary. Since we’ve been in a seller’s market for so long, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a buyer’s market.

During our last recession, it was a buyer’s market because most buyers didn’t feel comfortable, so there were fewer people looking for homes, but many sellers  HAD to sell due to debt or divorce. Many people were also underemployed or unemployed, which led to fewer people being able to buy as well as forcing others to sell their home when they would have rather kept it.

What does this information mean for us? In our current seller’s market, you need good exposure, great photography, and a great Realtor. Should we move into a buyer’s market, you’ll have to have an amazing marketing plan and correct pricing will be crucial if you are selling your home.

In our current market in Lehi, homes that cost between $250,000 and $300,000 had only a few that dropped in price before selling in the last 30 days. For homes between $350,000 and $400,000, quite a few dropped in price. Between the $600,000 and $700,000 price point, almost half dropped in price before selling. You can see that there are different markets for each price point as you go up in price. If we move to a seller’s market, it’s likely that our $250,000-$300,000 price point will begin to look more like the $600,000 to $700,000 in terms of actually getting the price you list your home for.

I took a few people aside who bought a house during our last recession and asked them why they chose the home they did. They said that recession era homes were garbage, many weren’t show ready, they had poor photography, and the homes and their online presence just reeked of desperation. To avoid any of that as a potential seller, make sure your home is updated, clean, and freshly staged to help it stand out.

If you might want to sell in 2020, I’d suggest doing it now. We are still in a seller’s market, interest rates are still great, and people are wanting to buy. We don’t know how long that will last, so listing your house sooner rather than later may be the safest bet.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your home and its current marketability.

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