The news regarding the state of the housing industry is far from positive these days.
The National Association of Realtors reports that existing-home sales, which includes single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops, fell 5.3 percent in January of this year when compared to the last year. The numbers are even worse when comparing January sales to the same month one year earlier; Home sales dropped 8.6 percent across the country from January of the last year to the same month this year.
That means there are a lot of sellers out there still trying to move their homes. It also means that buyers have more options than ever when it comes to buying homes.
Sellers, then, have to do whatever it takes to attract fair offers on their homes.
Set the Right Price
The biggest mistake that sellers make in today’s market is overpricing their homes.
Housing values across the country are falling because buyers no longer want to pay sky-high prices for their homes. The National Association of Realtors reports that the prices of existing homes fell from an average high point of $230,200 in July of 2014 to $175,400 in December of last year.
Sellers who are still pricing their homes like it’s 2016 may find that few buyers are willing to make them offer. These buyers will instead move on to the next home that’s priced just a bit lower.
Fix That Dripping Faucet
Buyers hold the power in today’s real estate market. When they tell sellers that they want a purple bedroom painted a neutral color or that they’d like to see an old roof re-shingled, sellers have little choice but to either hire someone to do the work.
Sellers may also provide potential buyers with a credit or the money to repair the problem themselves, depending on what the buyers want.
Gone, though, are the days when sellers could boast that their homes came “as is.” Sellers who do that today will find few takers for their residences.
Hire a Stager
To attract a buyer today, homes have to stand out in a positive way. One way for buyers to showcase a house to the best of its ability is for them to hire a home stager.
Stagers will either work with existing furniture or art or bring in their own pieces to set up a residence so that it looks its best. They can also position furniture so that it hides a room’s flaws. For instance, a stager might position a bed and dresser to make a small bedroom look larger than it is.
Sellers usually pay for stagers. However, rates vary around the country, so homeowners should shop around before hiring a stager.
Be Willing to Compromise
Finally, sellers should be open to compromise during negotiations. If buyers need to move into the home at an earlier date, sellers should do what it takes to accommodate them. If they’d really like the kitchen refrigerator to stay behind, sellers should at least consider it.
Sellers may think they’re giving up a lot to buyers. And they are. But sellers have to remember that buyers hold the advantage in today’s market. To get them to make an offer, sellers have to be willing to compromise more than they ever have.