Selling Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

Selling in a buyer’s market is all about leverage and negotiations

The idea of selling a home in a poor housing market can make homeowners uneasy, but there are several things you can do to increase the likelihood that your home will sell quickly. Even if it is a buyer’s market, the fact is they’re looking to buy. So, what can you do to make your home the most marketable and still get the price you’re asking for?

In a buyer’s market, you should have two main goals:

  1. Allow yourself enough time to wait for the right offer.
  2. Understand the underlying dynamics of your local housing market, as well as the value of other homes in your neighborhood.

1. Give yourself time to accept the right offer, even in a buyer’s market

Often the most frustrating aspect of selling in a buyer’s market is feeling that you need to take the first reasonable offer that comes along for fear of not receiving something better. In any negotiation, the party with time on their side tends to have the upper hand. If you’ve already bought another house, you might feel rushed to sell your current home so as not to carry two mortgages. Plus, if your new house is out of state, managing the sale of your old home from a distance may be difficult. However, you don’t have to take the first offer that comes along.

  • Put your home on the market sooner than you think you have to. If it sells early, you can always rent until you move into your new house. This gives you time to look for a new home as well as time to wait for the right offer on your house. This is definitely not a process during which you want to feel rushed.
  • Consider renting the house. If you see the market improving in a year or so, rent the house for awhile and try again later. This allows you to generate cash flow to cover your payments and buys some time to wait for the right offer. Just remember to stipulate that the lease will be terminated in the event of the sale of the house.

2. Understand your local housing market

The next important thing is to understand your local market. Take the time to analyze real estate values in your area rather than assuming or generalizing based on a nationally poor housing market.

  • Get information on home sale prices in your area. This is even more important when you’re selling in a buyer’s market. Look at what comparable homes in your area have recently sold for. Most of this information is available online or from public records.
  • Find an experienced real estate agent to give you more information on the market and what you can expect from buyers. The right agent can be an invaluable ally in helping you market and sell your house since he or she deals with these issues every day.

Selling tips that can work even in a poor housing market

Your real estate agent may advise you to perform some simple home renovations to get your home ready to sell. While you may not think of investing in a home you’re about to sell, a home that doesn’t need a lot of work is very attractive to potential buyers. Several tips for staging your home include:

  • Repainting walls with neutral colors
  • Sprucing up landscaping
  • Presenting a clean home for all open houses
  • Staging your home to feel warm and inviting to potential buyers
If your house is not getting offers after several months, you may want to consider dropping the price. You could also consider offering incentives in lieu of a price drop. These might include:
  • Making a contribution to the buyer’s closing costs or home warranty
  • Paying a few months of homeowner’s association fees, if applicable, in advance
  • Including a prominent fixture or accessories, like appliances, an oriental rug, a chandelier or a nice painting

Consider financing your new home with a trusted lender like Citizens Bank

Once you get your house ready to sell and you’re ready to buy your next home, consider mortgage options from Citizens Bank. You can learn more about the home ownership process, from closing out or refinancing your old mortgage, to moving day checklists. Call one of our Citizens Bank home loan advisors at 1-888-514-2300 for more information.


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