Sellers who are getting ready to let go of their property first have to determine what type of market they're in. In primary markets, it's clear that sellers have an advantage. In others, the upper hand goes straight to the buyer. There are a number of ways to spot a buyer's market even if sellers aren't real estate experts—For Sale signs sit out for months, abandoned homes are common, and valuations continue to drop every year. But sellers can still exercise control, even when their prospects seem dire.
Getting Ready to Sell Your Home
One of the smartest things a seller can do is manage their own expectations before getting started:
- Mental preparation: A seller has so many emotional attachments to a home, and these sentimental feelings can make it difficult for sellers to accept the lack of interest in their home. Prior to putting the home on the market, the seller should plan ahead in case the home remains unsold for several months (or more).
- First impressions: For better or worse, buyers are very susceptible to the first impressions of their home. Improving the outside of the property with top-notch curb appeal can be a great way to draw buyers in and help them make their own emotional connections to the home. In addition, sellers can consider getting their own inspection of the home. Buyers who can look at an official report are assured that sellers feel confident about the state of their home—even if buyers get an inspection of their own.
Home Sale Negotiations in a Buyer's Market
Buyers aren't given carte blanche to make outrageous demands to the seller just because they're in a buyer's market. However, sellers may want to be more flexible when it comes to buyer requests. For example, if a buyer asks the seller to store some of their furniture in the garage until move-in, it's easy for a seller to turn this request down. But in a buyer's market, it's these kinds of compromises that can sell a home faster. Buyers may be more willing to meet the seller's financial expectations if they know the seller is willing to go the extra mile for them. Other sellers in the area may be willing to drop the price, but not as willing to facilitate the buyer's move.
Understanding Your Neighborhood
Each neighborhood has its own quirks when it comes to what people want and how they choose to buy. For the most part, these patterns are often only apparent to the real estate agents who have the opportunity to see how the details play out in the real world. A good agent can help a seller understand how to brand and market their home. For example, some provinces may see more buyers on specific Facebook groups. If the real estate agent is already active on those groups, they can introduce new buyers to the home. Other markets may skew toward a certain demographic (e.g., young families, retirees, etc.), which can help a seller decide how to stage their home.
Glenora sellers who can't afford to wait until the market takes a turn for the better may need to adjust their expectations of how their home sale will go. Those who can work within the system have the best chance of getting the price they want at the time they want it.
By Justin Havre