When the number of homes available on the market is higher than the number of potential home buyers, prices are lower and sellers have a harder time selling due to high competition. Being a home buyer in a buyers’ market will save you the trouble of trying to buy a home that has received multiple offers, like you would in a sellers’ market.
A buyers’ market is bad news for sellers. As a seller, you are facing a lot of competition, because the supply exceeds demand, giving buyers the upper hand over sellers. The housing market crash created a buyers’ market, which made buyers expect to buy homes in better shape for less. This made home sellers struggle to get the most money for their home in the shortest period of time. If you price your home realistically and follow a few tips, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer. Here are the top 10 tips for home sellers in a buyers’ market:
Tips for Home Sellers
1. Have a Home Inspection. Home inspections are usually made after you have found a potential buyer for your home, but having it done before you find a buyer can help you identify and take care of small problems that your home might have. Small issues like the ones that are identified in a professional home inspection can become a problem at closing time. Also, offering your home with a pre-inspection lets the buyers know that you have taken care of small issues, and gives them more peace of mind.
2. Ask for the Right Price. Selling your home in a buyers’ market is tough, so pricing it less than similar homes in your area will put you at an advantage. Luckily, current mortgage rates are quite low, so buyers are more motivated than ever to find a great home.
3. De-clutter. In order to attract buyers, you need to show off your home at its fullest potential. Put away anything that may distract the potential buyers from seeing all that your home has to offer, such as toys, clothes, misplaced furniture, and even personal photos.
4. Curb Appeal. First impressions are very important when selling a home, so your home’s curb appeal needs to be as attractive as possible since this is what the buyer will see first. Having an adequately maintained landscape and clean gutters are definitely a good start to improving the exterior appearance of your home.
5. Fix the Exterior. Issues or negligence with your home that you may have become acclimated to over the years, such as chipped paint or dirty windows, can make a very bad impression on a buyer. Buyers will be wondering what the issues will be inside, if the exterior is so neglected. You can easily clean up and improve the exterior of your house without too much effort and money.
6. De-personalize. Buyers have their own vision of how their new home is going to look. Things like collectibles or family photos can be a distraction for buyers, so it’s best to put them away and make the home as neutral as possible.
7. Update Your Kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most important parts of your home, and it should make an especially good impression on the buyer. Unfortunately, fully upgrading a kitchen is typically very costly, but simple and cheap updates like fresh paint and new hardware on cabinets can make a big difference. You also may have the option of taking out a home equity line of credit to help pay for renovation work if needed.
8. Update Your Bathrooms. Like kitchens, bathrooms are expensive to upgrade. However, making a few select small changes, like changing fixtures or adding new lighting, can vastly improve a bathroom and create a better first impression.
9. Clean Up. Whether your kitchen and bathrooms are upgraded or not, your whole home needs to be sparkling clean from top to bottom when showing to potential buyers. Things like vacuuming, dusting, washing windows, general pickup, or taking out the trash should be no-brainers when trying to sell your home.
10. Pets. While pets are great additions to a home, they might get in the way of you selling your house. While buyers inspect your home, it’s best have little evidence of pets present. Pets may create unwanted odors, leave hair all over, damage the carpeting and/or walls, or trigger a potential buyer’s allergy.
Preparing your home for selling is time consuming and may involve a small investment, but, in a buyers’ market, you need to do everything you can to be at an advantage over the other sellers. This list of the top 10 tips for home sellers in a buyers’ market will help you sell your home quicker and, possibly, for even more money.