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How to Sell Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

by Miranda Marquit

We’ve been experiencing a real estate market that heavily favors buyers for a couple of year now. As the reality that I will have to sell my home — probably in the next year — sets in, I know that I am going to have to take some drastic measures to sell my home. Mainly because I don’t want to mess with renting it out after we move.

If you plan to sell your home in a buyer’s market, there are some things you will have to do. (And I’m not looking forward to a lot of them.)

Research Your Local Real Estate Market

As you know, real estate is local. Do research on home that have sold in your neighborhood, and in your wider area. Get an idea of the price range of homes that are comparable to yours, and consider what you are likely to get. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of homes for sale; just on my street I can see four homes for sale. Many homes are selling for $20,000 below “market value.”

Have Realistic Expectations on Price

In order to sell your home in a buyer’s market, you are going to have to price if competitively. This means that you might take a hit on the home. Additionally, you may have to show that you are willing to move on the price. Your listing should include an “original price” and a “current asking price”. You could also update your ad to highlight a price drop. Many buyers can afford to be picky and look for sellers willing to move on the price. Realistically, in a buyer’s market, you will not get what you think your home is worth.

Add Value to Your Deal

You will also need to add value to your home. Sellers are expected to pay closing costs as it is. However, you may need to add something else, such as paying for inspections, offering a flooring allowance (if the carpet is worn) or paint allowance, or some other upgrade. Point out the features of your home, such as a fully-fenced yard, a water purification system or a drip-system for the garden. If you have extra features, make sure that you highlight them to encourage buyers to see your home as a good bargain.

Use the Internet to Advertise Your Home

Most people look for homes online. You need to have some sort of an Internet strategy to help you sell your home in a tough market. If you have a real estate agent, find out what sort of online packages are offered. Remember that lots of pictures are desirable. You want to show your home to best advantage, and buyers are more likely to look at your home if there are pictures online.

Make a Good First Impression

If you want to get the best possible price for your home in a buyer’s market, you need to make a good first impression. When publishing pictures of the outside of the home, take pictures each season. A dated photo underscores the fact that the home has been on the market forever, and you may not get the best offers. You should also make efforts to keep the home clean, improve the curb appeal, and clear out clutter. If you are having trouble, a professional staging might help.

What are some of your tips for selling in a buyer’s market?


Published or updated March 13, 2011.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 krantcents

I would have multiple brokers tell me what is the so called market price. The more professional advice I could get, the better off I might be. If it is priced right, it should sell quickly! The next step is to stage the house, not professionally, but get rid of the clutter, extra furniture to make rooms look larger, and maybe paint when necessary.

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2 Ryan

De-cluttering was one of the big things my wife and I did – we took several van loads of boxes to Goodwill, sold items on Craigslist, etc. We made some money, got some tax write offs, and made our home more presentable. I recommend it to anyone selling their home!

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