How to Know if You’re in a Seller’s Market

Never give up in searching for a new home in a competitive market; it may take a while, but you will end up with the house you want. Here are the definite signs you are searching in a competitive market.

Cash wins, for it is king

A sure sign is when sellers are expecting cash offers for their home. Cash offers trump loan offers any day of the week. If you aren’t offering cash, don’t worry, there are other ways to get the house you want.

Bidding wars galore

When there is a bidding war, you automatically know you’re in the thick of a completive market. This is usually good for the home owner as they will see who gives them the best offer. Most bidding wars happen when they have three common features; excelling price, excellent location, and excellent condition.

Hip-town USA

Watching the growth and desirability of a city reflects its housing market. Watch what’s going on in the industries around and where they are headed. The west coast (San Francisco particularly) had a tech explosion which increased the competitiveness of living quarters drastically. One quick way to notice how hip your city is is to take a look at the amount of coffee shops and yoga studios.

Escalation clauses

An escalation clause is when you write in your offer that you are willing to increase the dollar amount of you offer up to a certain amount if there are multiple bids. This is one way bidding wars get started.


Some buyers can and will spice up their offer by making the transaction super easy for the seller. They look for their “dream sale” and go for it. How quickly do they prefer to close vs. how slowly they choose to close? It’s not uncommon for buyers to write sappy letters to the owners explaining why they want their home.

Selling price was way above asking price

Economics can explain this one; the law of supply and demand. When homes sell for more than what they are asking,  this clearly indicates someone is willing to pay more than what the owner thinks it’s worth, and that’s a good sign.

Multiple offers

As a buyer, the more offers you get the sweeter the deal is becoming. Packed open houses and multiple bids couldn’t be much clearer.

 Snatched off the shelf

If you’re looking online and the inventory isn’t as plentiful as you’d like, you’re in a competitive market. Homes are going pretty quick, so if you see one you like you best act fast. A simple way to gain the edge is setting up alerts on your phone to tell you when something new is in.

Tidal wave neighbors

When a once common neighborhood becomes popular, pretty soon the neighborhood down the road will follow. Some say it is like a tidal wave pouring across the city. Neighborhoods are being renovated and given a facelift and all of a sudden it’s the place to be.

Deadlines on offers

As if buying a home wasn’t already tough enough, they add in deadlines. A way to get buyers to get moving is to enact a deadline. If the market is competitive you will definitely see buyers scrambling to meet deadlines. 

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