Tips to Sell Your House in a Cooling Market
There is no doubt about the fact that in many geographic locations the
real estate market is cooling. As a result there are more homes on the
market, sellers are waiting longer to sell their homes and selling them
for less than they would like. While this sounds like a scary prospect
for home owners the good news is there are several strategies sellers
can use to move their homes despite the cooling market.
It's important to recognize the perspective of the buyer. Just as a
military general would make a point to understand the enemy you must
make the time to understand how home buyers view the current market when
you decide to sell your home. Due to the rising inventory of the home
market, buyers are becoming increasingly choosy. They no longer feel as
though they must make a rapid decision even if a house does interest
them. Frequently, home buyers also feel as though they have more room to
negotiate on the sales price and other terms.
Refusing to consider negotiating tactics may mean your home sits on the
market for longer. If you feel you absolutely must bring in the asking
price, be prepared for your home to sit on the market for some time in
order to find the right buyer. On the other hand, if time is of the
essence, recognize the fact you may need to consider lowering your
asking price. In many cases, this can speed up the time in which your
home sales dramatically.
It is also important to make sure your home is priced right when you
first place it on the market. Be aware that pricing your home too low
can do just as much damage as pricing it too high. Buyers frequently
view homes priced too low as "problem houses." They may feel the
home has issues that could be costly later on. If you're not sure how to
accurately price your home or your home is not selling at the price
suggested by your agent, consider biting the bullet and having a
professional appraisal of your home performed. This will help you to
gain a very accurate idea of the market value of your home. In a cooling
market, take that information and then price your home just below the
market value to move it fast.
Recognize that while it is important for your agent to do their share of
marketing in order to sell your home, in a cooling market you may need
to pitch in and lend a hand as well. In some cases, you may be able to
negotiate a lower commission rate with your agent in exchange for the
marketing you provide. For example, if you find a buyer on your own you
may be able to get your agent to shave off as much as half of the
commission. In the end this can help you to retain more of your sales
price; possibly even tens of thousands of dollars depending on the final sales price.
Keep in mind that when a real estate market is in a transitional phase
you cannot afford to waste time. If you receive an offer early on during
the listing phase, be sure to seriously consider it. Otherwise you may
find yourself wishing months down the road after your home remains
unsold that you had taken it. Even if the
offer far below the asking price, avoid the temptation to turn it down flat. Come back with a
counter-offer. Show the buyers you're willing to negotiate.
Along the same lines, be aware that while you may not feel you can
negotiate much on the sales price of the home there may be other areas
where you can negotiate with the buyer. Offer to make repairs or pay for
some of the buyer's
home closing costs. These negotiating tactics can go a long way toward driving a buyer's attention your way. Many home owners
are also looking at other ways they can provide an incentive to buyers
such as providing home warranties that will cover the cost of home
repairs during a certain period of time after the home is purchased.
Such a warranty doesn't cause much of an out of pocket expense for the
seller but can be a major incentive to buyers.
Look for ways you can use to impress buyers. Remember they have a lot to
choose from and you want your home to stand out. If possible, hire
someone to professionally
stage your home. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the homes they view. Help them along the way.
Before you ever sign a
real estate listing agreement, discuss marketing strategies
with agents while interviewing them. If buyers can afford to be choosy
in the current market you must be choosy about the agent you hire. Don't
tie yourself down to an agent that won't provide you with an extensive
Finally, if you really want to sell your house fast in current down
market, you might want to consider paying the real estate agent more.
Maybe a percentage point above the national average. You can't go wrong
playing to an agent's self-interest. If all things being equal, an agent
will show a home paying more commission. And the more exposure your home receives the better chance
you will have of selling it.