Tips to Sell your House in a Down Market

Tips to Sell your House in a Down Market

The indicators have been coming fast and furious for at least six months now, but it’s pretty much official: the extended hot seller’s market has ended. Between higher interest rates, fewer people looking to move, and market nervousness that leads people to greater caution, the market has definitely shifted. The days of pricing your home as high as possible and seeing it sell instantly with multiple competing offers are, for most markets, over.

This isn’t necessarily a problem, though! Many people who are selling a home are also buying one, and the cooler market is actually a good thing for buying another home. Also, you very well could still see much of your home’s estimated value when you go to sell because of one factor that is still shoring up prices: low inventory in desired areas. People still want to move to new places, and if you’re selling in an area with appeal, it is likely that people are scouring the listings because there are so few available.

So how do you acknowledge the challenges of the down market while making the most of the opportunities of low inventory as a seller? We’re glad you asked.

Tip 1: Price Carefully With Your Knowledgeable Agent

It can be a hard pill to swallow that what your home is worth has changed so much from 2019 to 2021 to 2023. When you go to list a home for sale, it’s key to work with an agent who both wants to do everything right in marketing your home and is willing to tell you even tough news about the price you’re likely to get. You can get very clear with them by asking how things are going for local sellers: are they getting one offer three weeks in with a reasonable price, or can you price a tiny bit below market and get seven offers in the first week? Get as much clarity on what the agents are seeing before you commit to a single pricing strategy, and talk through what will happen if you need to do a price cut down the road.

Tip 2: Put Your Best Foot Forward With High-ROI Repairs and Curb Appeal

Selling is often a game of making a great first impression, so make your first impression count with a great looking front entrance, well-staged rooms, and as clean a home as possible – these little things help buyers go from “maybe” to “yes”. When it comes to adding value to the house, skip the big-ticket renovations during the season when you want to sell. Simple upgrades and repairs with a strong return on investment include a coat of paint when yours is worn out (especially if you want FHA borrowers to be able to consider your home) and fixing visible cosmetic eyesores that could impact the buyers’ impression when they tour.

Tip 3: Make the Most of Your Flexibility

Everyone has different circumstances, but evaluate your strengths. If you can afford to wait and sell in a slightly different economic climate, try selling your home at the price you want and just accept it might not be the season unless the perfect buyer comes along. If you can afford to sell for a little less than market value, price low and get the bargain-hunters jumping to get your home. If you don’t mind putting in some serious DIY time, really spruce up your home with some weekend projects for a few months before listing. You’ll get the most possible out of your sale if you recognize and take advantage of your strengths.

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