When there are more homes for sale on the market than there are buyers, what results is called a buyer’s market. During this period, the prices of homes tend to rise slowly – may even fall – and houses will generally stay on the market for longer. Here are some helpful tips for home sellers who find themselves in a market where buyers have more negotiating leverage.
Now is not the best time to ask top dollar for your home, unless you can afford to wait things out until market conditions improve. Check with your REALTOR® to find comparable listings as far back as three months. Look in the listings for every comparable home and make adjustments according to age, size, location, lot size, and additions or upgrades. Then price your home slightly less than the comps to create a competitive edge.
Hire an Inspector
Most purchase offers are contingent upon the home passing an inspection. If something comes up that the buyer wasn’t told about beforehand, it might put them off. Sellers can use a clean home inspection report when selling the home or take care of the repairs before putting the home on the market. Either way, it works out to the seller’s benefit to be upfront with the buyer.
First impressions mean everything. A home with an unkempt appearance will generally stay on the market longer than a home that has been landscaped and well maintained. There are some basic landscaping techniques that boost curb appeal without requiring frequent upkeep. Painting and power washing also bring a great ROI when trying to get the best price for your home during a buyer’s market.
Give Open Houses
When buyers control the market, they tend to want to see more houses, more often. People would rather tour six homes in one afternoon than have six separate appointments spread out throughout the week. Make your home available for all requested appointments and make sure you’re not there when the buyers arrive; let your REALTOR® work his or her magic.
Be Willing to Negotiate
In a buyer’s market, people are going to make low-ball offers more often than not. Instead of losing your cool, use these initial offers as an opportunity to begin negotiating. Ask the potential buyer or his or her REALTOR® what information was used to determine the price offered. If the offered price was based on the comparable price a similar listing, find where you can increase the value; perhaps your home has had recent upgrades or is in a better location. If a buyer is truly interested, chances are they’ll be able to meet you at a price that is satisfactory to both parties.
There’s no way around it, selling in a buyer’s market is a challenge. The long road to closing a sale can become shorter as long as you’re willing to be flexible and considerate of sensible compromises. Be ready to market and negotiate, but, most importantly, be patient.