Who wins and who loses depends on where you are and what your role is in the transaction.
Both markets alternate and are the result of natural corrections. In the same city you can find both options depending on the area whether residential, multifamily, commercial or industrial properties.
Some may be more active than others simultaneously. It is often said that the sellers or buyers market is produced by inventory and time factors, but the situations are much more complex, since there are many elements that can produce these deviations, for example: If bank interests rise or fall, the entry or exit of speculative capital, inflation, recession, depression, bankruptcy of important businesses or the relocation of some companies.
Generational groups looking for properties with specific characteristics, plans for the growth of the city such as roads, hospitals, prisons etc, rezoning of certain areas, rise in prices of construction materials, natural catastrophes and / or climate changes. Certain political, economic or social changes, upcoming government elections or unforeseen results etc.
Obtaining favorable results, will depend on how much information and knowledge you have, on which side of the market you are, what are your short and long term goals and expectations in terms of profitability.
Can you determine the duration of any of these markets?
It is very difficult to give a forecast. As you can see there are many factors at play that can not be controlled.
What we can do is try to see the scenario as complete as possible and be objective when buying or selling a property. Avoid falling in love or feeling attached to a specific property
Seller in the Sellers Market:
Cash offers will be common. You may not need to invest a large sum of money for improvements or property arrangements.
You can choose the best qualified buyer financially or the best offer.
Always hire the services of a real estate agent who will advise you and get you the best conditions. Not all offers are the same, a good agent can identify the best options.
Seller in Buyer’s Market:
It is necessary to have patience, rent and wait for better times. If you really needs to sell, you may consider selling below the price.
A good strategy is offers a higher commission to the agents or you can consider offering a contribution to the buyer. A well-qualified real estate agent could point out your options and attract qualified buyers.
Buyer in Buyer’s Market:
It is possible to make offers below the sale price. You can put conditions and / or contingencies when presenting your offer.
Also, you could ask for a contribution from the seller for your purchase. You will have the opportunity to choose the property that best meets your expectations and needs. Always present your offer with proof of funds to be considered a solid offer.
Hire the services of a real estate agent who knows how to get and negotiate the most favorable conditions.
Buyer in the Market of Sellers:
Always present your offer with proof of funds to be considered a solid offer.
Be aware that your offer have little or none chance of being accepted if you do not make an offer for the full price or above it.
You will be competing for the same property with other buyers, so you must make quick decisions. Your real estate agent should have experience in negotiating.
Simple formula to determine if you are in a Buyers or Sellers Market:
Determine the zip code or area of your preference. Identify the property of your interest, set your price range.
The property or properties of your interest should be compared with all the active properties in that area.
Your real estate agent can tell you how many comparable properties to the one you have chosen have been sold in the last six months, this number will give you the monthly average.
Finally, the range of active properties is divided between the result of the monthly average already sold and this number will indicate the quantity of months of inventory in that area and which are still available to be sold.
Both, in a Sellers or Buyers Market you should be represented and advised by a real estate agent that give you all the information you may need to take the best decision.