If you’re thinking of selling your home, but you’re not sure about neighborhood market conditions there are some quick and easy ways to learn more. These four signs are all solid indicators that your local housing market is good for sellers, and they are great starting points for an introductory conversation with your real estate agent.


1. An Increase in the Employment Rate.

The employment rate is one of the best indicators of market conditions. As job opportunities increase, so do people’s willingness to spend and their ability to save. Higher employment might not immediately lead to a greater number of buyers, but steady growth is a good sign that more people will start buying soon. For a comprehensive sense of the employment rate and its effect on your area, look at both national and local employment numbers.


2. For Sale Signs.

Observing “For Sale” signs is one of the easiest ways to gauge the rough state of the market. A large number of “For Sale” signs in your neighborhood, especially ones that stay up for long periods, suggests a buyer’s market: a lot of homes for sale and not enough interested buyers. If you start seeing fewer signs or notice that they’re turning over quickly, it is likely that housing demand has increased, and that the market is turning in favor of sellers.


3. New Businesses.

If a neighborhood in your area has recently seen an increase in new businesses, take that as a sign of increased economic interest in your area. Though new businesses don’t guarantee an uptick in sale prices or housing demand, they do suggest increased interest and investment in your area, both good signs for its real estate market.


4. Increased Activity by Real Estate Companies.

Keep an eye on local realtors and real estate companies, since they will have the best information about the state of the market. If you see local real estate businesses expanding their presence, increasing their advertising, or investing more in local events, there is a good chance they see promise in the local market. If you decide to talk to an agent about the state of the market, consider asking about these factors:

  • Do Sellers Feel Pressured to Take the First Offer They Receive?  When sellers feel like they can turn down offers, it is a clear sign of a seller’s market. Sellers are confident enough in the number of buyers and the strength of their position to turn down less desirable offers. Although they might not be allowed to give you exact information, an agent can give you a sense of the confidence level of the sellers they have recently worked with.
  • Are Homes Selling for More Than Their List Price? This is another question best discussed with a real estate agent because of their knowledge of the current market. When homes in your area are consistently selling above their list price, it is a good time to think about selling; you have a much better chance of making a profit on the sale.

If you are starting to think about selling your home, keep an eye out for these signs and ask your agent for a local market report. They will have all the information you need to make a sound financial choice about whether or not now is a good time to sell.