Buying or selling a home can be a lot like playing a game of cards: You gotta know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. To determine the best moments to buy and sell, most people look to the real estate market—whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.

But what is a buyer’s market? And to what degree should you plan to buy or sell based on the type of market you’re in? We gathered a team of real estate pros to break it all down.

What is a buyer’s market?

As you might have guessed, a buyer’s market favors buyers, not sellers. But what, exactly, does that mean?

“It means external conditions—like supply and demand, comparable sales in the neighborhood, the economy, public opinion, confidence in the future, and changes in the tax laws—favor buyers,” says Robert Elson, a real estate in New York.

These factors create an ideal scenario for buyers in the real estate market.

“First, we go through a period of approximately six months—or longer—where we see prices start to steadily soften as time goes by, coupled with rising inventory and interest rates dropping,” says Bill Kowalczuk, a broker in New York. When this happens, buyers have many more properties to choose from.

“The greater the rise in inventory, the more negotiable the properties become,” he says.

What does it mean for buyers?

In a buyer’s market, buyers are more likely to get a sweet deal on a purchase.

“If you are in the market for a new home, it’s an ideal time to make your move,” says Jordan Skurnik, a realtor in New York.

Why? “You may be able to use the excess inventory to your advantage and secure your dream home for a lower price,” Skurnik says.

And, because the market is less competitive, he says you are likely to have more time to make a decision and less chance of getting caught up in a bidding war.

You may be able to finagle some additional perks, as well.

“With little competition, buyers can negotiate with sellers to include a home warranty, cover part of the closing costs,” says Candice Williams, a realtor in League City, TX.

Plus, buyers in this situation typically control the closing date, she says.

But don’t get too excited. No one’s giving their home away in a buyer’s market. While you may get a deal, you may not get a steal.

“If your budget allows for $800K, don’t aggressively go after million-dollar properties,” warns Daniele Kurzweil, a realtor in NYC. It’s still smart to stick to your budget, so you can avoid financial trouble if the markets shift in the future.

We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.

Here’s what some of the experts have to say:

Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic

“We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

“We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”

Freddie Mac

“The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”

Bottom Line

The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area.