Buying a new home can be an exciting time. It can also be frustrating and exhausting. To help prepare, here are five important things to know about the market.

1. Is it a buyer’s market or seller’s market — and what’s the difference?

  •  In a buyer’s market, there are more homes for sale than there are people who want to buy them. 
  • In a seller’s market, there are more people who want to buy homes than there are homes for sale.
  • Look at days on market, list-to-sales price, and other data points to see where your market is right now.



2. What are the local pricing trends?

  • Do some online searches in communities where you’d like to live. 
  • Check neighboring areas and towns and compare prices there, too.
  •  Areas with higher home prices usually are in higher demand.
  • As you become familiar with trends, you’ll be able to spot good deals and overpriced homes.


3. Where are the up-and-coming areas?

  • A key indicator of a soon-to-be-hot town is new infrastructure and development.
  •   Look for new businesses, shopping centers, roads, and schools.


4. How are the schools?

  • Schools are ranked by how well kids perform on math and English tests.
  •  Compare school scores for neighboring areas and try to prioritize good school districts; it’s good for resale.


5. What are the neighborhood demographics?

  • How many homes are occupied by owners?
  • How many are rented?
  • What’s the average age of occupant? 

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.