Prices? At this time we are seeing significant price reductions, especially at the higher end of the Market. Sellers who listed in the Spring and haven't sold are now contemplating not selling till Spring (our busiest time) unless they lower their prices and sell now. Buyers are waiting for the price reductions they know are likely, so Fall can be a busy time for Buying and Selling.
How best to buy? Salt Spring is a varied market and has greatly varied topography, views, acreage, etc. A local Realtor will be knowledgeable about septics, zoning, Islands Trust regulations, soils, water supply, comparable sales, etc. so you best bet is to have a local Realtor on your side. It doesn't cost you anything.
Selling? You want to know the best listing price. Too high and the home sits on the Market and many potential Buyers don't view because they feel the price is too high. Wait too long to lower the price and then the home gets fewer views because Buyers think there must be something wrong with it as it hasn't sold. Too low and you don't realize full value. As with Goldilocks and the porridges, you need to find what is "just right". And "just right" changes, given supply and market conditions. Right now, lower end homes are popular, mid-range is balanced market/somewhat Buyer's market and high end homes are definitely a "Buyer's market.