Tips for Sellers: Selling in a Buyer’s Market

There have been a few positive signs in the statisitcs of late but it is still a buyer’s market and there is a lot of competition among sellers.  As is true in any market, correct pricing is crucial.  Having said that, all the tips below are great as they are useful tips to some extent in any market. That goes double in a buyer’s market.

Ryan Coffey

9 Secrets to Selling Your House Fast in a Slow Market

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Selling a house in a slow real estate market can be difficult. In times like these, it’s not enough to simply list your home and wait; you actually have to sell your home. No one really wants to sell anything when the market is bad, however, it’s not impossible to sell your house in these conditions. It just takes a positive attitude and a different kind of game plan.

Even though the market’s not favourable to sellers and widespread economic recovery may be months, even years off, there are a number of tactics available to increase the likelihood of a sale.

1. Know your market
One of the most important things you can do to get your house sold is to learn your market, the value of your property and your competition. Most sellers operate in the dark, simply offering the property for the price they want, without regard to what other homes have sold for and are currently selling for. Undervaluing or overpricing your home can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Price your home right
Prices are in constant flux. Overall, prices in the Nanaimo area have been fairly stable for a couple of years now, but there have been and will always continue to be some fluctuations within that market that are specific to types of homes, their locations and so on. So if you try to ask as much for your property as your neighbour got a year ago, you’re going to turn off potential buyers. Instead, price your home conservatively by looking at similar houses currently on the market. Also look at the homes that aren’t selling. Chances are those owners priced their homes too high. Therefore, pay attention to what has actually sold… recently. I’ll bet you anything that most of those sales were people who, just like you, wanted/needed/had to get as much as possible for their property but also understood the limits of what the market would bear.

If you really want to stimulate a sale, you should under price your property by just a little. Trimming the price by a few thousand dollars can generate more foot traffic and create a buzz.

3. Make your home presentable
Keep your house looking good at all times, repair things that are broken, and replace things that are rundown. Add a fresh coat of paint (neutral colors preferred), freshen up landscaping, trim trees, clean up clutter and remove personal items, so that prospective buyers can picture themselves in the home rather than seeing you there.

Consider using a professional home staging service. Your property must make a strong, positive impression. Staging a home is the cheapest way to make a house look different from your competition so it becomes the most memorable one that the buyer saw.

4. Market your home aggressively
In addition to using the multiple listing service, tell your friends, neighbours, co-workers, share the listing your Realtor has put together on facebook or wherever you can think of doing so. If I am your Realtor, I will be doing this anyway but having more of us doing it will only get more out of it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

5. Be flexible with showings
It only takes one Buyer to get your home sold. Don’t make your Realtor feel as though their request for a showing is an inconvenience.

6. Play up your home’s best features
If you have fireplaces, make sure that you have fires burning so that there is a beautiful warm glow and the sound of crackling. If you have a gourmet cook’s kitchen, have some great-smelling treats baking in the oven. Turn on soothing music. Set all lights and lamps if the home looks dark or feels heavy. Lighting is crucial. Do the same as if you were having a formal dinner party- the house will certainly sparkle.

These are just a few examples. Ask me for more.

7. Offer buyers incentives
A low price may be incentive enough for some buyers, but others might be holding out for something more. Maybe you have some sort of nice furniture or appliances but you are thinking of holding on to them or maybe not. Maybe offering the pool table and associated items during price negotiations while asking for a bit more money for the place will convince them to pay a bit more. And then you don’t have to move it or worry about where it will fit in the next place you live. Win win.

8. Offer flexible terms
Often, the best way to sell a home more quickly in a buyers market is to adjust the terms of the sale instead of the price. Sometimes people need a very short or a very long time between subject removal and possession in order to make it all work. If you can accomodate, or at very least show that you are trying to work with them a bit things are more likely to come together. This might create a way for you to ask for (and get) something in return from them

9. The first offer rule
If you get an offer within the first few weeks, the tendency is for sellers to try and hold out for a better offer. This is generally a mistake. The biggest fish usually bite first, so keep in mind that your first offer will often be your best.
Lastly, keep a positive attitude!


Ryan Coffey

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