Experts will tell you that in real estate, timing is everything. While that may be true for most any endeavor, successful real estate investors will all tell you there is no way to “time” the real estate market. Yes, you can find a property undervalued that can be improved and sold in that manner but buying timing the real estate marketat a certain time of the year and selling at another is a myth.

Buy and sell prices of real estate are a dynamic affair and since no two properties are exactly alike, prices can vary by as much as only a few dollars or by thousands. There really is no bona fide way to buy at the right time and sell when it’s time to sell. Timing has less to do with seasonal factors and more so with local market conditions of which there are three: a buyer’s market, a seller’s and neutral.

Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market indicates there are more homes for sale in the area than there are ready buyers. More inventory means sellers are competing for the same set of potential buyers. Homes can sit on the market for longer periods of time and if the sellers bought on the up-cycle, many sellers will have to wait until the equilibrium between homes for sale and buyers is reversed. The negative in a buyer’s market for those seeking to purchase a home does not know where the bottom will actually end up. That said, buyers have the upper hand in negotiations and can command multiple concessions from sellers in order to consummate the deal.

Seller’s Market

In a seller’s market, the see-saw has gone the other way. Here, homes are in short supply and buyers are competing against one another for the same inventory. Sellers will rarely accept anything less than list price and seller concessions are few, if any are offered at all. Here, sellers have the upper hand and can enjoy being on the receiving end of a bidding war. The downside for sellers in such a market is turning around and buying another property in the very same market.

Neutral Markets

Regarding inventory, if on average it takes six months to sell all the available homes in the area, the market is deemed to be in balance. Less than a six month supply indicates a potentially overheated market and situations favor the seller. If it takes longer than six months to sell the inventory, it indicates softening prices and a buyer’s market.