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How to Avoid the Buyers' Market Blues

Aug 28, 2008
A buyers' market is classified as being a time when there are more houses for sale than there are qualified buyers. If you're trying to sell your home at a time like this, it can be daunting when you see "for sale" signs up and down your street and no buyers on your doorstep. There's no need to be discouraged though, as there are strategies you can employ to attract buyers.

The first thing that you need do is objectively assess the value of your home. Setting the price can be challenging because homeowners are emotionally attached to their home. There are years' worth of memories inside, as well as hours of sweat and hard work that was put into the structure itself. Many sellers become indignant when an agent suggests that they lower their price, but it's imperative to price your home to suit the current market.

If you overprice your home, you are essentially taking your home out of the competition. Buyers will move on to similar properties that are at a better price. It won't be worth their time to look at your home because there are better deals out there to be had.

A real estate agent can help with pricing your home. He will look at recent sales in the area and see what comparable properties are actually selling for. He will then present this information to you, and advise you about how to proceed.

If you're not in a hurry to sell, you might be able to afford to list your home a little on the high side, but you're taking a huge risk. It's entirely possible that home values will drop even further, and you'll regret not having taken an earlier offer. Again, defer to your agent for advice on this, as having an expert guide you will make the process much smoother for everyone.

Aside from setting the correct price to attract buyers, it's also a good idea to make the transaction as easy as possible. You can help do this by getting a home inspection done before you even have a buyer at the table. Having an inspection done preemptively will let you know about any major repairs that need to be done, and also tell you how much you'll have to reduce the price by in order to get a buyer. Getting the inspection done early will eliminate any nasty surprises and make a potential buyer much more confident in the transaction.

Hire a real estate agent who has an effective marketing plan for your property. You want your home not only to be listed in the newspaper and on flyers, but also online, where most buyers now start their search.

If you really get stuck, consider adding incentives to sweeten the deal. Adding a new car or offering to cover closing costs can be just the thing to bring a waffling buyer over to your side. Gas cards and plasma televisions are a few incentives sellers have employed to get buyers' attention, but most experts agree that the best way to lure in a buyer is to simply lower your price.
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