If you’ve been paying attention to the NYC real estate market, you’ll know that sales are down across the city. Not only that but asking prices have also fallen as sellers look for ways to compete against a glut of new development properties that arrived on the market this year. This oversupply, combined with rising interest rates and fewer home buyers. Given the circumstances, we are now firmly in a buyer’s market. While this is an excellent time for buyers, it is far from ideal for sellers. Among other things, a buyer’s market means for sellers that their home will stay listed longer on the market, they’ll face more picky buyers, tougher negotiations and more lowball offers.
If you can’t afford to wait for a market correction and need to sell now, then you can take hope with knowing there are ways you can improve your chances of getting a fair price. Here are some helpful tips on how to sell real estate in a buyer’s market.
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Find the right price
When you’re in a buyer’s market, having the right price is key. Put down a seller’s market price, and your home could languish on the market for months as you watch neighboring properties quickly come and sell before you. Your goal should be to match or undercut comparable homes on sale in your neighborhood. Even if you feel your property is worth more than theirs.
To determine the right asking price you should discuss it extensively with your seller’s agent. If they’re worth their salt as an agent and know the market, they’ll be able to give you a sound analysis of why they think a specific price is the right one. The last thing you want to do is overprice. A good indication that you’re overpriced is if you’ve had at least 20 showings and no offers. With so many properties on the market now buyers can afford to wait and be picky.
As a seller, you need to decide what is more important, time or money. If you’re in a rush to sell by a specific date, then you need to price more aggressively. Consider a price drop of 5% or even 10%+. But if you can afford to wait then, you might get lucky. However, don’t count too much on it, unless there’s something spectacular and unique about your home it will be difficult finding a buyer without some price adjustments. Also, don’t be too surprised by the low offers coming in. The market now is encouraging buyers to make low-ball offers.
Prep your home and consider home staging
While in a seller’s market you might be able to get away with selling a property for top dollar in an as-is condition. But when you’re in a buyer’s market, you need to go the extra mile to make your property stand out. Make it the best looking home on the block.
Your first step should be getting a professional deep cleaning of the apartment. Buyers are picky now so make sure there’s not a speck of dust to avoid complaints. Next, declutter and depersonalize your home so it can appeal to the most buyers possible. Buyers have a hard time visualizing themselves in a property when you’ve got family portraits and other personal effects lying around.
Also, make any repairs you can before listing or even consider some small upgrades that will attract buyers. One surefire way to get the offers rolling is home staging, which means getting your home looking like it’s ready for a catalog. You can hire a professional staging company to do the whole job for you and then have your agent host open houses to get people through the door.
Consider paying the full broker’s commission
Can seem like a sneaky way for a broker to get a better commission, but there are valid reasons for it in today’s market. When it’s a seller’s market, brokers don’t need to spend as much on marketing. But when you’re competing against a lot of other properties you need to make your listing stand out. A lower commission split will mean your broker has to cut their marketing budget which will hurt the promotion of your listing. Trying to save now on the commission will directly translate to more days on the market which may, in turn, lead to price reductions.