You may have noticed that homes in your area are not selling as fast as they have been, or for as much as expected. Home Sellers take note - buyers have been gaining leverage. In a Buyer’s Market, the supply of homes grows faster than market demand resulting in higher inventory of homes. Buyers are more selective, homes can take longer to sell and prices soften.

When it’s time to sell, understanding the market we are in, picking the right Agent for the job and following some key tactics can still net you top dollar for your home - and in a Buyer’s market, you may end up spending less than you imagined on your next purchase - so you are still ahead of the game.

Here are my 9 best tips for Selling in a Buyer’s market:

1. Select your Agent with extra caution.

The most important thing when selling or buying is to select the right Real Estate Agent. Dealing with an Agent that has the experience, strategies and systems in place to sell in a changing market is paramount. Select an Agent that has past experience in a Buyer’s market, understands your neighbourhood and has broad experience with the type of home you are selling.

A good Agent knows the pulse of the market. Listen to Agents who are giving honest advice, not just the answers you want to hear.

2. Be Informed.

Study your local market and know what is going on - how long it’s taking for a property to sell, list to sold price ratios, recent sales stats, expiry rates, current supply of similar homes on the market and the time to clear that supply. A qualified Agent will review this information for you and explain the implications.

3. Price Competitively.

In recent years, Sellers could set their price and get it. Today, if a home is overpriced, a buyer will dismiss it and move on to the next one.

It is vital in a slowing market that your home is priced properly when you first put it on the market. Homes that are ideally priced right from the start, sell more quickly, sometimes even with multiple offers in a Buyer’s market. The quicker a home sells, the better the price you will get. Homes that are overpriced sit on the market much longer and in the end, sell for less than if they had been priced right in the beginning.

Accept that the market will set the sale terms. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get the price you expected. Be prepared to make price adjustments if you are not getting the action you anticipated. If you are not getting any nibbles after 3 to 4 weeks, it’s time to re-evaluate.

4. It’s Show Time.

Never before has it been more important that your home is in top condition. The Buyer’s are pickier than ever and they want it all. If your home doesn’t have it, they can get it down the street. Buyers won’t put up with dated light fixtures, stained carpets, scuffed hardwood floors, torn window screens. Again, a good Agent can advise you on the fix-ups that are required and the best place to spend your time and money for the greatest return.

5. Dangle the Carrot.

Make you home stand out in the crowd. Play up the best and most unique features of your home. If you don’t have a unique selling feature, you may want to consider offering an incentive to the Selling Agent to get them excited about your home. Offer to help with buyer’s closing costs, mortgage buy downs etc. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it has to make your home even more appealing to Buyers.

6. Respond To All Offers.

Don’t be too quick to turn down a offer. Don’t feel insulted. Many Buyers will come in with a lowball offer to start, knowing full well it will never fly anywhere near that price - but what the heck, it’s worth a shot. Keep your cool and make a counter offer, then you will know for sure where they are coming from. And even though the Buyer’s offer was ridiculous, don’t do the same with your counter offer.

7. Keep Negotiating.

Never let an offer die. There may be concessions you can make to potential buyers such as making minor fixes, helping them find a better mortgage rate so the can pay your price and actually have lower monthly payments. You might even have to consider giving them the closing date they want while you find interim accommodation. Making a deal now, instead of later, can save you money in the end, especially if prices start to slide.

8. Be Creative.

In a changing and highly competitive market, you must always stay one step ahead to win over that buyer. If one tactic isn’t giving you the results you want, don’t be afraid to change gears. An experienced Agent will be able to draw on a wealth of marketing strategies that can get the results you need.

9. Take the Money and Run.

If a cooling market translates into ever sliding prices, you may want to get out while you can. Sometimes, you just have to take a loss and move on - even so, you may be able to make it up at the other end with a better price on your next home. If you do have to take a "loss" on your home - just remember that you have lived there over the years and are probably still further ahead having owned than rented. :)

June Smith, B.A.Sc.

Re/Max Aboutowne Realty, Brokerage

18 Years of Award Winning Service

Condos - Townhomes - Detached

Phone: 905-842-7000