Negotiating in a Buyer’s Market – For Sellers

Selling your home in a buyers market

How to sell your home in a Buyer's market

A ‘Buyer’s Market’ occurs when the number of houses for sale in a given area significantly exceed the number of potential buyers for those properties. In this type of market, buyers are in a better position to negotiate price and terms than they would in a seller’s market when properties are hard to come by.

If you are a seller in a buyer’s market, it can be frustrating and discouraging. It’s a harder market than we’re used to. As a seller, you must prepare mentally and emotionally for a lower price and/or a longer process than you’re used to.

To give you an idea how much our market has adjusted, we’ve typically seen newer (past 10 years) detached single family homes with attached garages sell close to and over $400,000. YTD in 2018 we saw only 2 of these properties sell below $375,000. So far this year (as of this writing) we’ve already had 10 sell under $375,000.

If you’re in a position of selling a property to re-purchase one the good news is that as you sell for less, you also get to buy for less.

As a seller you may be tempted to wait until pricing increases before listing your house for sale. If you sell higher and buy higher, proportionately you’re really no further ahead or behind compared to buying and selling in a buyer’s market. The real loss occurs when you sell a home in buyer’s market without a repurchase.

As a seller in a Buyer’s Market, here are a few tips to help you negotiate top dollar:

First, if your home is vacant, we recommend staging it. If you have excess furniture elsewhere, could some be moved into the vacant property? Could you hire a staging company to bring furniture, artwork and décor? For some, this is a too pricey, however if you can it will most likely be worth the investment.

Second, if you’re motivated don’t make it obvious. If you’re going through a divorce and you have two names on title, keep some of the opposite sex’ clothing and bath products. When buyers see a possible divorce, it gives them additional insight into your motivation, giving them an even greater upper hand. If you’re moving out of town, don’t have most of your home already packed up.

Third, negotiate wisely. Offers today tend to lie somewhere between 5-8% below list price. This can be discouraging especially when you’ve tirelessly prepared your home to sell and priced it well. Always know your bottom line, but don’t go there too quickly. Reserve some negotiating power by saving some of the minor details for later in negotiations. For example, if you’re moving date is flexible, reserve it towards the end of negotiations. If the washer and dryer are negotiable include them in order to leverage a little more price.

As a final thought, what if you became the buyer? Do you have equity in your home that could be leveraged to purchase an investment property? If you are willing to do the work of managing a property, buying and holding onto a rental could give you a little extra for future retirement. If you have no idea where to begin, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to share our experience working with rentals to help you determine if it’s a possible fit for you.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home and want a local, experienced, integrity driven real estate team to assist you, contact us today! We’d be happy to meet with you; get a better understanding of your goals and see how we can best serve and support you.

Jason Rustand with RE/MAX Real Estate serves with the highest level of integrity and excellence every time. For more info on this topic or others related to real estate contact LIKE our Jason Rustand Team Facebook page, call Jason direct at 780.980.2828, email or visit