You’ve heard it. Or maybe you’ve read it somewhere. “It’s a Buyer’s market,” or “It’s a Seller’s market.” Some of will even say the “market is on fire!” But what do those statements REALLY mean? Knowing that information will be a big help to you if you are buying or selling by Understanding the Atlanta Real Estate Market.
The Housing Market
This term references the overall real estate market, referring to houses (and condominiums) being bought and sold between buyers and sellers. While most of these sales are happening with the assistance of a real estate agent, their are those sales happening directly between owners. (We call that a For Sale By Owner or FSBO). As with any product, the market is dictated by the inventory of the product, a.k.a. Supply and Demand. If we have high demand for a product, and low inventory, the market appreciates. But if demand is low, and inventory is high, the market depreciates.
Inventory in the Housing Market
Supply and demand in the housing market is related to the number of homes on the market, or the inventory. And we measure the market like this….If no other homes were to come on the market after today, at the current pace of sales, how long would it take for ALL the homes to be sold? If the inventory is high, the prices go down, as you compete to find a buyer for your home.
So What is a Buyer’s Market and a Seller’s Market?
When you have high inventory, it is considered a buyer’s market, because the homes are on the market longer, and the supply is greater than the demand. The longer a home is on the market, the more a seller is willing to negotiate. (Or, in a worse case, they take their home off the market and wait) During this market, the buyer wins by getting a good deal on a house, or they enjoy a buyer’s market.
But when we have less inventory, and a large number of buyers, the seller’s market kicks in..and it is the seller who is in the driver’s seat with their price. Mind you, you can ask whatever you want for a price on your home, but it will have to appraise if the buyer is getting a mortgage, or the buyer will need to have the financial means to make up any difference between the agreed sales price and the appraisal price, if there is a difference. (Oh, and yes, that does happen…and happens OFTEN!)
Take another example….if the new iPhone was not popular, and they were not selling, you would see the price come down. Apple would have all this inventory that is not moving, and they’d be adjusting prices to move it. On the flip side, if there are lines to buy the latest iPhone, rest assured, the price will be right up at the limit.
You have to remember that markets, especially real estate, have cycles. There will be a time of rapid appreciation, then stable markets, and then the potential for another decline. (UGH!) Thankfully, are price appreciation HAS slowed down, the market is stable, and homes are selling at a fast pace…hence the seller’s market we are currently in.
You can find many real estate tips for both buyers and sellers in the blog posts on our site. If you have questions about your specific building (prices DO vary from building to building) or in your neighborhood, why not contact us to get a more detailed market analysis that tells you about YOUR real estate market!