We've all heard the terms "Seller's market" and "Buyer's market", but what do they mean? Simply put, when the market is better for Buyers, we call it a Buyer's market. Alternately, if it's better for Sellers, we call it a Seller's market. Several factors can determine the housing market including demand (both local and globally), the government (taxes, policy, programs), interest rates and overall sentiment.
The dictionary defines a Buyer's Market as "an economic situation in which goods or shares are plentiful and buyers can keep prices down". In terms of real estate, this is one in which the number of homes on the market is generally greater than the number of potential Buyers. Prospective Buyers will take their time when choosing a home to make an offer on and will usually make it subject to several conditions.
As one might expect, the dictionary definition of a Seller's Market is exactly opposite a Buyer's Market... "an economic situation in which goods or shares are scarce and sellers can keep prices high". This is the type of market every Seller would like to be in - one in which the demand for homes exceeds the supply. In a true Seller's Market, you can typically ask top dollar (according to your current market analysis) for your home and still attract prospective Buyers. The hotter the Seller's Market, the more critical the Buyer's timing becomes as homes can be sold virtually overnight so timid Buyers tend to lose out over more aggressive Buyers.