Buyers Market: Tips To Sell A Home

What are some ideas to help sell a home in a buyers market?

1 Answer

You know the answer to this question already, you just don't want to hear it: drop your price. If you can't face that proposition head on, then at least be flexible within a price range and method of finance. In a buyer's market, it is not uncommon for sellers to have to drop prices by a one quarter to one-third. To avoid this, be flexible with the buyer who is very interested in your home, as he or she is likely willing to pay a bit more to be in the house. Also, consider

seller financing or a lease to own deal.

A cheaper option is to offer to pay all closing and/or escrow costs. Traditionally, there are certain fees that the buyer pays, such as home inspection fees, and certain fees that the seller pays. For instance, the seller usually pays for title insurance and a termite inspection, and the buyer usually pays for homeowners' insurance and a property inspection. This division of costs, however, is entirely negotiable and buyers and sellers are free to split them anyway they choose.

Not only should you make the price more attractive to potential buyers in a buyer's market, but you should also make the house itself more attractive. You may need to do a little more work in enhancing your house's curb appeal and charm factor. This is not to say that you should go out and put in a pool (you almost never get your money back on a pool anyhow, so you should only ever install one if you want it), but if you can afford it, you should consider remodeling the bathroom and/or kitchen. Anothr option, if it can be done tastefully, is to add on another bathroom. If you don't have covered parking, build a carport or garage, if you do, upgrade your driveway from concrete to stone or brick.

Finally, I loathe to encourage anyone to pay someone to buy her house, but many buyers find success doing just that. I'm not talking about spending money on the usual curb appeal stuff (you should do that whether it's a buyer's or seller's market); I'm talking about giving your potential buyer something of value that is tangentially related to the house or something that buyer's usually pay themselves - give the buyer an incentive. For instance, some sellers will purchase a year's membership in a raquet club or gym near the house or pay for a year of water delivery or landscaping. It's not an idea I'm completely sold on, but it's the type of creative thing that could just seal the deal.