What Should You Do When It’s a Seller’s Market?

aerial view of city during daytime

Personal matters may be most important in deciding when and whether it’s time to sell your home, but at least one real estate industry designation may also factor into that all-important decision: the declaration that it’s now a “buyer’s market” or a “seller’s market.”

When buyers read that real estate is in a buyer’s market, expectations rise that sellers will be more prone to accepting offers that shave dollars off of an asking price. The opposite holds when it’s thought to be a seller’s market—few would be astonished if their full-price offer is outbid by another buyer. For buyers, overcoming seller’s market headwinds consists of moving fast when an opportunity arises—and being patient (and persistent) while awaiting the next one to appear.

Most of the time, real estate activity tilts in one direction or another, but isn’t categorically declared to be a buyer’s or seller’s market. But if recent public pronouncements are any indication, the current market is an exception:

  • Housingwire: “Economist Matthew Speakman said the expectation of increased price growth is expected to persist for many more months.”
  • Realtor: “February 2021 brought…the median sales price up 15.8% year over year, and inventory is down 1.1 months from February 2020.”
  • Realty Times: “If you want to buy, there are… challenges because it is what you would characterize as a seller’s market.”
  • American Enterprise Institute: “National Home Price Appreciation for February 2021 averaged 12.3%. This is up from 6.6% a year ago.”
  • CNBC: “There were only 1.03 million homes for sale at the end of February—a nearly 30% decline from last year. That’s the largest annual drop ever—and the lowest supply ever!”

The Wall Street Journal may have been most convincing of all with its Personal Finance commentary: “Sellers,” it advised, “this is your time.” With U.S. properties selling in just about half the time it took a year ago (20 days on the market this February versus 36 days in 2020), the “seller’s market” declaration could be a deciding factor for some home sellers. If that’s your own disposition, I hope you’ll give me a call!