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Orange County Credit Union provides a broad range of banking products and services like checking, savings, loans, and investments for every season of life. Through our blog, our aim is to equip readers with helpful advice that will enable them to reach financial goals.

What’s a Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market?


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What’s a Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market?

Sandra Diaz

You may have heard the term “It’s a Buyer’s (or Seller’s) Market.” What does that mean? Who determines when it’s one market type or another? Why should it matter to current and soon-to-be homeowners?

The type of market is based on how many people want to buy homes compared to how many homes are available for purchase. It’s a Buyer’s Market when there are more homes for sale than buyers. It favors the buyer – the prices remain low, there’s more opportunity for negotiation, and the buyer may get more of what they want from the seller. It’s a Seller’s Market when there are more buyers than homes for sale. This market type favors the seller – they can ask for more money and may receive multiple offers.

The best way to determine the market type is to calculate how many months it would take to sell all of the homes on the market. You divide the total number of homes for sale at the end of the month by the number of sold homes in that month.  

If it takes 6 or more months, it’s a Buyer’s Market
If it takes 3 or less months, it’s a Seller’s Market.

With mortgage rates staying near or at historic lows, the market for homes in Southern California has maintained excellent value for buyers while still remaining a Seller's Market. As the market for homes continues to slowly trend into a Buyer's Market, sellers still find that this is an ideal time to put their homes on the market, particularly with sale prices continuing to climb and the time on the market for well-priced homes being relatively quick.

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home, a real estate agent can help you determine what’s happening in your local market. Our real estate partner, First Team Real Estate, has the latest tools and technology that can even determine the market type in your preferred neighborhood. Also, be sure to check out First Team’s monthly Orange County Real Estate Market Update. It provides information about where prices are falling and where homes are selling fast.