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Selling Your Home in a Buyer's Market

As the Fall Selling Season proceeds, current market conditions favor buyers. While leverage has shifted to buyers, the market remains functional even as prices dip. As the market slows from record levels, interest rates and the stock market will also help determine how buyers perceive the market in the next few months.

What do Sellers have Control Over? 

Location? No
Room Count? No
Square Footage? No
Floor? No
View? No
Building Amenities? No

(These attributes make up the underlying value of the property)

What sellers actually have control over

Price: 
Nothing matters more than the initial list price. Buyers and buyers’ brokers are very tuned into marketplace valuation and the power dynamic shifts to the sellers when attractive pricing means an apartment is seen as something to be pursued actively. 

If your goal as a seller is to get the most amount of net proceeds at closing in the shortest most efficient way, an attractive price is the only way to achieve that. Even in very soft markets, a well-priced opportunity will attract a great deal of interest and offers and an overpriced one will not.

Sales Site Preparation
The way a home looks, feels, smells, and presents is very important. Buyers make a fast decision when they walk into a home or first see the pictures online. I’ve watched the evolution occur where more and more buyers have spent a great deal of time scrutinizing pictures and then arrive to either have their impressions confirmed or disappointed. Sellers need to invest in creating an appealing home that buyers want to live in.

Some Obvious Suggestions That Can make a Difference

Clean and Clean
The home should be sparkling clean, not just for the first Open House but for every single showing. No dust. No clutter, not a single thing that will result in a negative reaction. Sellers do well to remove into storage as much as possible.

Depersonalize:
Buyers want to imagine living in their home, not yours. Sellers should remove all or most photographs, kids' drawings, or overly personal items. 

Paint. 
A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your apartment. Keep colors neutral and light. 

Stage: 
This means hiring a professional to come to your home and rearrange, bring in new furniture, and generally make the home as appealing as possible. Simply swapping in new towels, sheets, etc can have a huge impact. An empty apartment can be virtually staged at a lower cost which can help buyers visualize the space furnished. 

Negotiating Attitude:
This is a key component of a successful deal and one that is hard to convey. Years of negotiating deals have given me a sense of the tone, attitude, and timeline expectations. A good broker will walk the line between keeping the pressure on to get clients to act but not scaring them away with overly aggressive tactics

More tips on increasing your home's value through home sales preparation in  Home Enhancement Guide.

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