How to Make a Buyer's Market Work for You

How to Make a Buyer's Market Work for You

  • Sarina Dhanoa
  • 01/21/21

High inventory, low demand. The hallmarks of a buyer's market tilt the home buying process considerably in favor of those seeking new housing.

Whether it's from an oversaturated market or economic conditions that negate the need for relocation or a lot of buyer movement, listings sit for long periods as prices deflate. Buyers can take their time in choosing their ideal home and do so from a significant negotiating advantage.

Not all is lost for sellers, though, as a little extra effort goes a long way. Regardless if you find yourself buying or selling, here's how to make a buyer's market work for you.

For Sellers

In a buyer's market, sellers can face a daunting uphill battle. Not only are you competing with a bevy of homes, often with similar features and selling points, but also flat pricing and a dearth of interested buyers.

The most critical step to overcoming the realities of a buyer's market is ensuring your home stands out among the crowded marketplace.

Performing a deep clean and depersonalization of your home is step one. You'll want buyers to envision the home as their own. It's easier to achieve when you remove the "lived-in" feel from your house.

Next, address any lingering repairs that you may have put off. While homebuyers won't expect a brand new roof or siding (although they will pay a premium for both), they do expect a home's major mechanical and comfort systems to be in proper working order.

To further distinguish your home from the competition, a fresh coat of interior paint does wonders. It may be worth it to update hardware or fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom. Don't neglect your curb appeal either. Keep it clean, well-maintained, and pick a fresh color to ensure your home's first impression is a lasting one.

While you don't want to break the bank pumping money into updating your home, buyers are far more demanding when the market is in their favor. Even small touches can make a big difference.

Once the home prep is complete, hire a stager to present it at its most inviting. A professional will help a home feel larger and more livable.

Your home's "digital" appeal matters too. Your online listing should stand out just as much as the house itself. Professional images, clear, detailed copy, and an agent with a vast network of professionals to make all of the above happen will ensure your marketing shines and reaches a broad audience.

Finally, be realistic about how you price your home in a buyer's market. If most of the comps in your immediate market are listing homes between $1 million and $1.2 million, listing yours at $1.4 million is a recipe for it being ignored.

Instead, price competitively, even slightly less than those comps, to ensure it's well-received. And when it comes time to negotiate, consider sweeteners—concessions, closing costs, etc.—to help your position.

For Buyers

There's no better time to be house shopping than when the market is decidedly in your favor. And not just because of pricing.

For starters, with fewer buyers, you'll have more houses to choose from, so visit as many as you can before ever making an offer. The reason is twofold.

First, chances are high you'll find a home that ticks many boxes on your wishlist. You don't have to make as many compromises as you would in a seller's market, so take time finding your ideal home.

The second reason stems from improving your negotiating position. By seeing so many homes, you'll arm yourself with data from comparable properties. It's easier to discern which listings are market-based and which sellers might be inflating their price.

Also, in a similar respect, if you set your sights on a home that's been on the market for some time, you can be more aggressive in your approach.

Buyer's markets also allow you room to maneuver non-price related factors such as concessions or contingencies, closing costs, or the request of certain repairs or add-ons.

Whether you're interested in Dublin homes for sale or seeking more information on San Ramon real estate, contact Sarina Dhanoa & Associates today. Allow our expertise and years of experience to be your guide to the best of the East Bay.


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