The Real Estate Market: A Guide to Understanding Market Reports

The Real Estate Market: A Guide to Understanding Market Reports

Every quarter, Harry Norman, REALTORS® publishes a real estate market update for both luxury real estate (1M+) and all price-points for 15 different locations throughout Metro Atlanta and the Greater Georgia area.

If you’re thinking, ‘Great, but how does that help me buy or sell my house?’, you’ve come to the right place. These market updates are powerful tools to reference for both buyers and sellers, but only if you can translate the metrics into something more actionable. Use this guide as your translator for understanding the Real Estate Market Updates on HN Insights to help you make informed decisions on the sale or purchase of your home.


In short, these numbers give you an idea of how many homes are available in your market. The higher the number, the more options, time, and negotiation power you have. In a market with a high number of homes for sale, you will have the luxury of time when it comes to weighing your options before deciding which home to purchase. On the flip side, if the average number of homes for sale are lower than usual that means not only are there fewer options to choose from, but also time is of the essence and a speedy decision will be in your favor.

For home sellers, listing your property when the average number of homes for sale in your area is low could help you secure a quick sell at the highest possible value. Without as many options on the market, buyers are more likely to make an offer quickly and competitively to outshine other contenders. When average number of homes for sale is on the higher end, buyers tend to relax a bit more. 


For buyers, checking out this metric before you enter your home-buying journey can help you establish an estimated timeline that you should be prepared for.  Average Days on Market tells you how fast – or slow – the market is moving (aka how quickly homes are going from listed to under contract).  If homes aren’t staying on the market for long, that indicates there are many buyers in the market that you will be competing with in terms of submitting offers. For example, 31 Average Days on Market tells you that once a home is listed, it lasts approximately one month before it is under contract. Buyers may want to consider a stronger or more competitive offer in this case, since there will likely be multiple offers on a property.


Inventory refers to homes for sale, with a balanced market having enough listed homes to last about 6 months. A general rule of thumb is that a seller’s market is when the inventory is limited and lasts less than 6 months on average and a buyer’s market is when properties are staying on the market longer than 6 months. When homes are selling at a faster pace than new listings are coming on the market, this will see the ‘months of inventory’ decline. This metric can help guide buyers or sellers on when it is the best time for them to buy or list a home.

When coupled with other metrics such as Average Days on Market and Average Number of Homes for Sale, these metrics can have a significant impact on your own buying or selling experience. When used together, knowing these numbers can help you determine home value, how long you should be prepared to be in market, and if negotiating power is in your favor. While buyers and sellers are encouraged to know these basic reports and understand how it may affect them personally, it is always best to trust a licensed REALTOR® to navigate the intricacies of the market.

If you are considering buying or selling, connect with a Harry Norman, REALTOR® to discuss the current market in your area and the best plan of action to achieve your goals.

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