Generally the market is sluggish through the winter months, but there is usually an upswing in sales of homes in the springtime.
In general, there are three types of real estate markets:
- Buyers’ market – In a buyers’ market, there are more houses for sale than there are buyers. Generally this means that homes will sell for less, sellers will usually agree to more concessions and contingent offers are more readily accepted. The buyer is more or less in control of transactions in a full-fledged buyers’ market. For sellers, there will be increased pressure to accept lowball offers, to make more costly repairs and to allow concessions in the buyers’ favour.
- Sellers’ Market – In a sellers’ market, there are fewer houses for sale than there are buyers. This creates a demand for the available properties, putting the seller more in control. They will command higher prices with fewer concessions and demands for repairs. It is generally not a good idea to buy in a sellers’ market, but to ride it out if possible to wait for the market to soften a bit.
- Neutral Market – In a neutral market, there is an equal balance between homes for sale and potential buyers. Interest rates tend to be most affordable in a neutral market and there is no marked advantage or disadvantage for either side of the buyer/seller relationship.