Home Selling in a Competitive Buyer's Market

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 11:30am.

Selling in a Buyer's Market: How to Keep Your ProfitGetting a home ready for sale requires a lot of care, but even more so in a buyer's market. Wondering how to sell a house fast in a slow market? When sellers take advantage of the information below, they will know how to help their homes stand out from others in the neighbourhood.

Understanding a Buyer's Market

What is a buyer's market? The definition is somewhat malleable. Simply put, a buyer's market means that there are more homes for sale than there are interested buyers. Although this dynamic is often divided by region, there could be different kinds of markets from one neighbourhood to the next, or among pricing levels. For example, there might be a tight seller's market for homes under a certain price, and a buyer's market for home prices that are much higher.

How Can Sellers Improve Their Homes for Buyers?

When sellers are aware that the market they are entering puts buyers at an advantage, they should do whatever they can to help their homes seem more appealing. This means making at least a handful of basic improvements to make the home fit buyer expectations. The average home buyer wants:

  • At least three bedrooms
  • Garage space
  • Extra room for storage
  • Updated kitchens and bathrooms

People who have upgraded their homes fairly recently might just need a coat of paint, a few minor repairs, and some expert staging to draw buyers in. Homes that do not meet buyers' minimums could need a greater investment to update the property and make it work for a larger number of potential buyers. Fortunately, improvements tend to increase the resale value, so it may be a worthy expense. Just be sure to seek permits for any major renovations, or else issues might come up during the real estate transaction.

Make Repairs to Any Flaws or Damages in the Home

In a buyer's market, buyers tend to have high expectations. Sellers can make their home stand by making repairs to any damages and flaws that could prevent a buyer from making an offer

Below are some common repairs that a seller might make to their home:

  • Repair or replace the roof
  • Tear out old, leaky pipes and install new
  • Fix any foundation problems

Homes that have serious maintenance problems may take a very long time to sell in a buyer's market, and those that do sell will generally fetch a low price. 

If all major systems seem to be operational, the homeowner can determine what needs to be repaired by getting a home inspection from a certified home inspector. A good home inspector can tell the seller which parts of the home would most benefit from home repair. 

What Is the Best Pricing Strategy for a Buyer's Market?

Pricing the home to sell is sometimes more difficult than it may seem. Since most buyers are contingent upon mortgage financing, and most lenders require an appraisal before granting funding, pricing the home too high does not make much sense in any kind of market. Pricing far too low in the hopes of sparking a bidding war may draw in more buyers, but possibly not any higher prices. In a buyer's market, sellers may do best to ask their agent to do a competitive market analysis to ascertain the fair market value of the property. Setting the list price a little below this number will help maximize the seller's profit without alienating prospective buyers.

How Can Sellers Market Flexibility to Buyers?

When buyers have the upper hand, they may ask for more flexibility in time to get a home inspection and appraisal, negotiate any necessary repairs that result, and close on the sale. Sellers can indicate that they are willing to work with these needs mostly through their agent. When buyers come for a showing, agents can put remarks on the listing describing how far sellers are able to go to ensure a smooth transaction. Sellers do not have to accept any purchase offer they receive. However, they should seriously consider the ramifications of rejecting or countering any reasonable offer, when buyers are few and far-between.

Selling a home in a buyer's market is far from simple, but it can be made a lot easier. When sellers try to anticipate Cochrane home buyer needs and meet them before requested, they can attract more attention and impress buyers from the moment they walk through the door.

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