Selling your home in a buyer’s market can sometimes be tough depending on the age, location or condition of your home. But with some creativity, sellers can be just as successful as if they were selling in a seller’s market. In this month’s blog post, I’m going to share some tips for selling in a buyer’s market to help your house stand out in hopes of selling it quickly. Below I’ll talk about everything from the open house and curb appeal, to things you should consider before buying your next home.
Get A Head Start On the Selling Process
A home inspection is one of the most critical steps in the home buying and selling process. This is often where sales continue or sometimes come to a halt— especially in a buyer’s market. With an endless number of options, buyers can easily decide to walk away from a house if there looks to be too much work needed. What I recommend sellers do, is hire a home inspector of your own before you even decide to list your home. This will give you an unbiased opinion on the condition of your home and prepare you for what home inspectors hired by buyers may find. Once your home inspector has done a walkthrough, you’ll also be able to provide potential buyers with the information upfront which may make buyers feel more at ease and comfortable as they walk through your home.
Fix It Up
While you have your home inspector touring your house, it may also be a good idea to ask them what five repairs are most needed in your home. This again can help you provide potential buyers with the upfront information they’re looking for, but it may also be a good idea to consider doing some of the repairs before listing your home. Small to medium-sized repairs can often be rather inexpensive and in some cases provide additional return on investment. This is where I recommend you consult with your realtor. Most realtors have years of experience and will be able to help you determine if the money you put into the repairs will result in your home selling quickly or possibly bring in more money.
And keep in mind that home inspectors are looking for structural and safety problems and may not necessarily be worried about that bright pink wall you painted years ago. This is again why it’s a good idea to consult with your realtor. While they may say that the five most needed repairs in your home won’t deter buyers or maximize your return on investment, they can provide you with tips for staging your home— specifically wall colour. Because in a buyer’s market you want potential buyers to feel comfortable and at home the second they walk in. If not, the buyer won’t be able to picture themselves in your home, and they’ll have already dismissed your house as a possibility.
The Open House
So your house is officially listed, now what? The truth is, your work isn’t done. Check out my seller tips below once your home is on the market.
Maximize That Curb Appeal
A cared for lawn and garden can go a long way to helping your home sell in a buyer’s market. This is because, with so many houses available, buyers aren’t going to waste their time touring a house they already don’t like the outside of. They may arrive, and move on to a new home in a matter of seconds. But your curb appeal can change that. Buyers are looking for somewhere that looks inviting not only for them but for their guests should they choose to purchase your home. And with an abundance of listings on the market, providing buyers with as little of a to-do list as possible is vital in selling your house quickly.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Much like the exterior of your home, you also want to make sure potential buyers can picture themselves in your house once they’re inside. This is tough to do when there is stuff everywhere. My recommendation is to pack away as much as possible without making your house feel bare. I suggest packing up all your family photos as well as magazines and small appliances to name a few things. As I said, you want your home to feel like a home without feeling like it’s bursting at the brim with stuff. Not to mention, this will also help you get a head start on packing. This is another area where I suggest you consult with your realtor. They’ll be able to tell you how much is enough and ensure you don’t go overboard.
Homebuyers are looking for different things nowadays. Especially in the case of Millennials. Things like wine fridges and large TVs are two common “wants” that new home buyers are looking for. So if you’re looking for a way to separate your home from the rest, I suggest considering installing one of these things (or something else). Any way you can provide potential buyers with additional value is another chance for your home to jump to the top of their shortlist and hopefully sell quicker. These things may cost a couple of thousand dollars upfront, but in the long run, they might be just what you need to sell your house quicker and for more money.
Before Buying a New Home
Once your home is on the market, you’ll probably start looking for your next home. This is where I suggest you proceed with caution.
One Thing At A Time
One of the downsides to a buyer’s market when it comes to selling your home is that houses are abundantly for sale. This can mean that your house may sit on the market for a lot longer than it would typically. And on top of this, it may also mean that you’re forced to accept an offer much lower than your asking price. Often when sellers are looking for their next home, they picture the best possible scenario— their house selling quickly and for the full asking price. When in reality, your house may not sell for quite what you thought. So when looking for your next home, I recommend you proceed with caution, depending on your financial situation, you may not be able to support two mortgages and two sets of bills while you wait for your old home to sell. You also don’t want to bite off a larger mortgage than you can handle just because you expected your home to sell for more. In these cases, I recommend waiting to purchase your next home until you’ve started the selling process with a buyer. This will allow you to grasp the situation better and make a smarter decision. Keep in mind, that although the buyer’s market wasn’t necessarily a good thing when selling your home, it might allow you some wiggle room when it comes to purchasing your next home.
As a seller, a buyer’s market is never a fun situation. It can be a lot more stressful and frustrating. But when it comes to these situations, I have one tip that is more important than them all— consult with your realtor. Your realtor is on your side, they’re there to help you through every step of the process and answer any questions you may have. They can help you manage expectations and ensure you’re not getting in over your head.
As a Guelph realtor myself, I am always happy to chat with buyers and sellers and discuss the Guelph real estate market. If you have any questions regarding your real estate journey or about the market in general, I encourage you to reach out to me by phone, email or on social media.