What is the difference between a buyer's market and a seller's market? Can you really time the property market? We take a look at these terms and how they affect you.

There are two main ways to describe the condition of the property market, namely whether it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market - and they have different implications for those looking to buy or even rent a property.

To understand how these two market trends will affect buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants you need to understand these terms.

Buyer’s / Tenant’s Market

The market swings to the favour of buyers or tenants when there is an abundance of similar homes for sale or for rent in an area. This oversupply will drive down demand and prices are likely to be dragged down along with it. In these conditions, a seller might want to hold onto the current property until market conditions change. For landlords, these conditions make it tricky to charge more in rent, because there are plenty of other rentals available if the current rental amount is not appealing.

Seller’s / Landlord’s Market

In a seller’s or landlord’s market, there are fewer homes for sale and for rent. This drives up demand which also pushes up asking prices. Buyers will need to act fast and make competitive offers when looking to purchase in these kinds of markets. Similarly, tenants will need to act fast and get their applications in first to make sure theirs is the one that gets accepted by the landlord.  

Timing the market

It is challenging to time the market right so that you sell in a seller’s market and buy in a buyer’s market. 

For example, sellers might be able to sell for more in a seller’s market, but then they will also likely purchase for more too. Similarly, in a buyer’s market, homeowners might sell for slightly less, but it will also be possible to purchase a home at a better price.

It is important to remember that each suburb will also have its own micro trends that can either mirror or be completely opposite to greater market trends. While it is easy enough to find out what type of market conditions the country is experiencing as a whole, local suburb trends are best discovered through a conversation with a local suburb expert.

The importance of working with a knowledgeable and experienced property professional remains vital. These experts will have access to real time data on the average time on market and price per square meter in the area, suburb-specific information that can help you to gauge timeframes and possible costs or returns. This information can help you make better decisions when it comes to their real estate transactions.

It is also important to remember that a correctly priced home will sell and rent out much quicker than one that is priced incorrectly, no matter the market conditions.