What actually is a Seller’s market?

I have said this phrase time and time again over the past two years in our local Spokane market.  But, what does it actually mean when agents say that we are in a “Sellers market”?

As realtors we look at a few different statistics when we are working to determine the current market. 

Here are a few:

1. What is the current available inventory of homes?
2. How many new homes were listed in the past week/month?
3. How many homes went into escrow?
4. How many homes were sold in the past week/month?

Below is an example of what these numbers work out to estimate as far as a market being more in favor of a seller, or more in favor of a buyer.

Spokane market stats.jpg

So, basically….based on the current home sales, pending sales, and new homes being listed we can work to estimate how many months our current inventory would last if NO OTHER homes were listed for sale.

Now, obviously this is not going to happen.  Real estate is always happening, and homes are put onto the market every day.  But, this gives us a good idea of the supply and demand the current market is seeing.

Here are some things to know when the market is in favor of a seller:

1. Act fast if you are a buyer!

  • Don’t “Wait to go see the home this weekend….”  Because that home will have already gone under contract.  So…phone your realtor and GO. SEE. IT. RIGHT. AWAY.  Also, have a realtor that will have this same sense of urgency as well!

2. Have your pre-approval in hand!

  • No agent representing a seller is going to advise them to accept an offer from a buyer with no proof that they can afford to buy the house.  It’s just not going to happen.  So, get all of that squared away with your lender and be prepared so when you find “The one” your realtor can get your offer in fast!

3. Have patience and keep looking!

  • In a market like we have had for the past couple of years, sellers are looking at multiple offers all the time and working with their agent to accept the strongest one that covers their needs the best.  This creates the reality that you may end up offering on two, four, seven, or more homes before you get those exciting words “Offer accepted”.  So, keep looking and keep at it!  You will find the perfect home!

4. Pay attention to Price!

  • If you are getting a loan this is very important.  Markets like this will push prices up and you don’t want to end up with an appraisal issue as you near the finish line.  So, have your realtor pull comps before deciding on the price you will offer.  This will ensure you aren’t writing an offer for a home that has no comparable sales around it to support the listing price.

Navigating the market takes a lot of strategy.  This is probably one of my favorite parts about real estate.  I love doing the research, representing my clients, and figuring out what will work best for my sellers and my buyers based on what their real estate goals are. 

In a rapidly moving market like we have had now for a few years, it’s not always about the price.  I have had clients win out in bidding wars because of letters, because I was patient and communicated well with the other agent, or even just because we were the fastest and had our offer in first.  You would be surprised what happens to a seller when they are reviewing offers.  You can’t help but begin to connect with the buyer’s stories and reasons why they love your home.

I have reviewed at least 17 offers at a time with sellers and I along with them hear the stories and read the letters.  It isn’t always easy to decide and it’s emotional for both the seller as well as they buyer.

So, if you are a buyer in this market…..be informed, stay at it, and be patient.

If you are a seller in this market….price right, prepare for “What’s next”, and trust the guidance of your realtor.

If you would like to talk further about our market, give me a call!



Sara Koenig | Realtor




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