Is it a buyer's or seller's market? | Real Estate Agent | BMO Harris
Connect with us
Young homebuyers shaking hands with real estate agent

There are natural ebbs and flows in the real estate market, sometimes in favor of buyers and other times, sellers. A buyer’s marketThird Party Link is when more people are selling homes than buying them, meaning there is an excess of supply. On the flip side, a seller’s marketThird Party Link is when there’s a shortage of homes up for grabs. Currently, the overall prediction is that the American real estate market will favor sellersThird Party Link.

Related: How feelings may impact the home-buying process

Here are a few tips to help you determine if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, plus ideas on how to help your clients strike the best deal in either scenario.

First, find out if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market by answering the following questions:

  • How many homes are on the market? If there are many, you’re likely in a buyer’s market.
  • Are homes selling fast? Pay close attention to how many days the home has been on the market. If the numbers are low, you’re probably in a seller’s market.
  • What price point are homes selling at? Consider pricing trends – is there a tendency to cut prices or are homes generally selling above list price? If homes are selling above list price it could indicate a bidding war, and therefore a seller’s market. However, if homes are constantly dropping in price that would be indicative of a buyer’s market.

Related: 4 client red flags to look out for

What to do during a buyer’s market

If your client is a buyer:

  • Research how long their preferred home has been on the market to determine how much negotiating power your buyers may have.
  • Investigate how many homes are on the market and what comparable homes are listed for, in an effort to get your buyers the best price.
  • Explain that they’re likely to have more options and negotiating room if the seller is motivated.
  • Consider going for a price that’s slightly below or at asking.

If your client is a seller:

  • Determine how motivated they are to sell – if they need to sell quickly, have a discussion about reducing the price to edge out other homes on the market.

Related: The best price is not always your client’s price

  • Be flexible – both with the terms of sale and showing times to make it easier for potential clients.
  • Don’t leave things to chance – be sure all repairs are made (big or small) to ensure the home is in the best possible shape. You don’t want to lose a buyer due to a small detail such as dirty carpets or messy bedrooms!  


Related: 7 homebuyer turnoffs your sellers should know about

What to do during a seller’s market

If your client is a buyer:

  • Remember that supply is less than demand, so homes are more likely to be higher priced. Look at comparable houses and figure out a price that’s fair – but don’t push your clients higher than they’re comfortable or far beyond the home’s worth.
  • Be quick and controlled – homes are likely to sell fast, so act quickly to give your clients the best chance. (You may also want to have a bidding war strategy planned ahead of time!)
  • Educate your clients on what’s important – help buyers see past the paint colors or flooring to focus on the bones of the home.

Related: DIY at home and your client could save 50%

  • Consider searching in an up-and-coming area, where your buyers may be able to get a great house for a more reasonable price.

If your client is a seller:

  • Get the home listed quickly – markets can shift so it’s important to take advantage of a seller’s market while you can.
  • Explain the increased likelihood for a bidding war and help them decide how they would want to handle it.
  • Being flexible on sale terms may bring in more possible buyers, therefore driving up the price.
  • Consider which renovations will help increase their return and which ones won’t have an impact.

Whether you find yourself in a buyer’s or a seller’s market, there are ways to work within the current environment to get the best outcome for your clients. Do your research and you’ll also position yourself as a knowledgeable agent, which can bode well for word-of-mouth.

Comments are closed.


Offers are not contingent upon real estate agents referring clients to BMO Harris for any products or services.

  1. Special offers are subject to change without notice. Closing cost discount of $100 on a new BMO Harris mortgage loan with Auto Pay from your BMO Harris Smart Money™ Account, BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account or BMO Harris Select Checking® account. The monthly maintenance fee for BMO Harris Smart Money™ Account is $5, BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account is $0, and BMO Harris Select Checking® is $15. Closing cost discount of $200 on a new BMO Harris mortgage loan with Auto Pay from your BMO Harris Premier™ Account or BMO Harris Portfolio Checking® account. The monthly maintenance fee for BMO Harris Premier™ Account is $30 and BMO Harris Portfolio Checking® is $25. FHA loans do not require Auto Pay to receive this discount. Mortgage closing cost discount can only be applied to the purchase or refinance of a primary residence and does not apply to Refi-Xpress loans, home equity loans, interim, lot and recreational land loans. Auto Pay means periodic scheduled payments automatically deducted from your BMO Harris checking account, as applicable, to pay the loan. When you sign up for Auto Pay, you authorize the Bank to draw your account for all amounts then due, including any late fees and any other charges. Checking account opening subject to bank approval.
  2. BMO Harris Bank offers affordable mortgage programs and works with various government and community organizations that offer down payment and closing cost assistance. Affordable mortgage programs may be subject to income limitations and other application restrictions. The amount of down payment, refinancing, and closing cost assistance available varies based on income and property location.