If you’ve been paying attention to the New York City real estate market, you’ll know that sales are down across the city. Not only that but asking prices have also fallen. 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 when selling their homes. Among other things, a buyer’s market means that their home will stay listed longer on the market. Sellers will face more demanding and challenging buyers, tougher negotiations, and lowball offers.
If you can’t afford to wait for the market to pick up and need to sell now, have hope with knowing there are ways you can improve your chances of getting a fair price. For sellers, a price drop of 8% is not something to inspire confidence, which is why they now need to take extra steps if they’re to come out with the best deal possible. Employ these strategies to help you sell your home in the current New York City buyer’s market.
Here are some helpful tips on how to sell your home in a buyer’s market.
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Find the right price.Find the right price.
When you’re in a buyer’s market, having the right price is vital. 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.
Deciding what is importantDeciding what is important
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 lowball offers.
Prep your home and consider home staging.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. Home staging might seem like an unnecessary risk, but it’s one of the best ways of getting offers faster. It might even be worth hiring a professional staging company to ensure you get the right look.
A first open house gives potential buyers the chance to view your home and get a sense of what living there would be like. Your listing agent will be able to meet buyers directly and answer any questions they might have. When done right, home staging can lead to receiving multiple offers.
First steps to staging your homeFirst steps to staging your home
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.Consider paying the full broker’s commission.
It 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 listed during a buyer’s market, which may, in turn, lead to price reductions.
Find out more about the buyer’sFind out more about the buyer’s
Knowledge is power, and knowing just a little bit about the interested buyers can give you an edge in negotiations. If it’s a first-time buyer, throwing in some extras such as furniture or custom lighting fixtures could help sweeten the deal. Depending on their needs and interests, it may not even be money they’re looking for. If they have children, they may be in a hurry to close before the school session starts; if so, offer to get them settled in time.
Get a home inspection done.Get a home inspection done.
A home inspection contingency should already be part of any deal sheet. You are getting a home inspection done beforehand before the listing can be a significant selling point. If you find any issues, have them cleared up, and you’ll have removed a potential roadblock to negotiations and attract buyers who want a smooth sale.
Offer to cover the closing costs.Offer to cover the closing costs.
Just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean they hold all the cards. If they don’t have the full amount to cover the expenses, offer to pay some of the closing costs. Better than reducing the price as it gives the buyer a large chunk of money upfront rather than a tiny reduction in mortgage payments over 30 years. Also, when setting your price to be very careful about not overpricing, no matter how tempting it may be.
A listing price above your home’s fair value will only drive buyers towards your competitors. Have your seller’s agent conduct a comparative market analysis to find the right amount. The agent should not just use old comps based on the past 12 months but also factor in real-time current inventory levels, pricing, and trends.
Don’t be too quick to walk away.Don’t be too quick to walk away.
In a market like this, sellers have to be ready for some tough negotiations. This is where having a competent and experienced seller’s agent by your side can pay off. There will be a lot of back and forth as you move towards signing a purchase contract but don’t allow emotions to cloud your judgment. Stay flexible and only walk away from offers that are insulting. By keeping negotiations open and civil, you have a better chance of securing a deal that leaves both parties satisfied.
The coming months and years will be about price discovery, as sellers look to find the sweet spot to attract the right buyers. With the current housing market still in a state of flux, the recent trends can be expected to continue.