When home prices fall, the number of homes for sale increases compared to demand, and buyers become more picky. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home for a fair price. You’ll just have to work harder to make it happen.
In a buyer’s market, when buyers have a lot to choose from, they’re going probably not going to buy the first home that meets their criteria and budget. If there are dozens of homes to choose from, don’t be surprised if they actually look at dozens of homes. And which of those homes will they choose, if they are in a similar location, and of comparable size, age, etc.? They’re going to pick the one that looks the best. The cleanest home. The one that feels the most like a new home.
When buyers have a lot of choices, you want to make sure that your home shines and really grabs their attention. If you haven’t already hired a staging consultant, make sure you get one to come through and give you pointers on what can be done to really make your home a standout in a crowded field.
In a buyer’s market, you really need to make sure that you have the right price for your home. Did you know that even in a buyer’s market, it’s possible to have a feeding frenzy with multiple offers and sales over list price? When you price a home right, in any market, you can get a lot of activity and multiple offers.
It will take a bit of a leap of faith on your part, but your best strategy here is to actually price your home under market price by a few percentage points – say 3 to 5. If your home shines – if it is a standout in the market – buyers will recognize that value and reward you with multiple offers and get your price up to whatever the market will bear. By carefully preparing and staging your home and by pricing it right, you’ll be able to get the maximum price for your home, in whatever market.
One thing that must be avoided at all costs, however, is to chase the market down. A buyer’s market usually means home values are dropping – or if they’re not dropping, they soon will be. You do not want to be in a position where you have to chase the market down through a series of price cuts. That’s no way to sell a house – it’s painful – agonizing, even – and very stressful. This is not a time to be optimistic about the price you’ll get. Be realistic, and set a price at which you know it will sell.
When you do get offers, be prepared to make concessions – even if you have multiple offers. It could be that your best buyer – the most motivated one, who really wants to buy your house – needs something from you to make it happen. This could be a closing cost credit, perhaps a bit of seller financing, or you’ll need to make a repair in order for them to get their loan. Don’t take a hardline approach to any of this. If you can reasonably accommodate a buyer, be open to doing so – as getting the deal closed is in your best interest too.
If you’re getting buyer traffic, but no actual offers, consider reaching out to buyers that have visited your home with a reverse offer. Let them know that you will make them a special offer, not advertised elsewhere – a discount of a few thousand dollars or a few percent off the asking price. This may be enough to get them to the negotiating table so a deal can be put together.