The real estate market is notorious for its fluctuations, and homeowners often find themselves grappling with the challenge of selling their property during a stagnant or falling market. While it may seem like pushing a boulder up a hill, there are strategic approaches that can help you successfully navigate these challenging waters.
Set Realistic Expectations:
The first step in selling a property during a stagnant or falling market is to set realistic expectations. Understand that the process may take longer than during a seller's market, and the property may not fetch the same high prices. Research the current market conditions in your area, consult with real estate experts, and adjust your expectations accordingly. We are fortunate here in Kelowna when it comes to Real-estate demand. Having a fairly steady influx of buyers from other areas of the country gives us a bit of a cushion when valuations are falling elsewhere. People like to live here and that keeps demand up but it doesn’t fix all the problems and when there are 5 properties listed for every one sold it means more people are unsuccessful at selling then are successful.
We need to keep in mind that there are only a few variables we can control when selling a home. The old adage the 3 most important things in real-estate are location, location, location is very true but unfortunately once you buy your house on a piece of property the property can’t be moved. So we are stuck selling it where it is. Buying in the right place to start with is a subject for another time. The condition of your property is something we can control but may incur extra costs. Maybe we can control the ease of purchasing giving some financing options. However one thing we can easily control is our pricing strategy. While it might be tempting to set a high asking price with “room to negotiate”, I believe it's essential to be competitive right off the start. Consider getting a professional appraisal to determine the fair market value of your property. Pricing it right from the start increases the likelihood of attracting potential buyers and minimizing time on the market. Consider that in a falling market there may be as many as 4 homes listed for every one sold. The highly motivated (people getting divorced, moving for work, or who simply can’t afford to pay a higher mortgage) will lower there price to get at the front of the line so to speak. After a few of these sales go through other buyers will see that properties they are interested in have been selling at this price level and will be more aggressive in getting better pricing and they may have lots of places to pick from so if you want your home to sell pricing becomes key. Don’t fall into the trap of chasing the market if you are highly motivated to sell being every buyers fifth choice won’t make it easy.
Enhance Curb Appeal and Home Staging:
You only get one chance to make a first impression, especially in a challenging market. Keeping things in good repair and clean are inexpensive ways of helping attract a potential buyer. Enhance your property's curb appeal by maintaining the exterior, landscaping, and making necessary repairs. Something people don’t speak about but that is important is smell, make sure things are clean and fresh. I am sure you have seen the nose blind commercials maybe ask a good friend over and see if it passes their smell test. Inside, consider home staging to showcase the property's potential and make it more appealing to potential buyers. You can speak with a contractor about doing some renovations, kitchens and baths recently renovated can have a big impact. However doing renovations can be time consuming and expensive it is not always a possibility for many homeowners.
Highlight Unique Selling Points:
In a slow market, it's crucial to identify and highlight the unique selling points of your property. We may not be able to alter our location but we can tell people what makes our home unique. Whether it's a renovated kitchen, a spacious backyard, or proximity to amenities, emphasize these features in your marketing. Showcase what makes your property stand out from the rest to capture the attention of potential buyers.
Flexible Financing Options:
This is not for everyone offering financing can make it difficult to purchase your next home, speak to your accountant as everyone has a unique financial situation but if you can then consider offering flexible financing options to attract a broader range of buyers. This could include seller financing, lease-to-own arrangements, or other creative financing solutions. Being open to different options can make your property more accessible to buyers who may be facing financing challenges in a stagnant market.
Keep in mind how most people find a property to buy
Years ago people would drive around looking for signs in a neighborhood they were interested in or look through the newspaper. Eventually they would contact an Agent and start visiting properties, the agent would find a few more and when the right one came up they would buy. This does still happen but now most people look online they do searches have their real-estate agent do searches and then they go look. When a search is made it almost always includes a maximum price and people may look a little higher hoping to negotiate a bit. If your price is too high many prospective buyers will not see your home listed. Pricing it right from the start is extremely important. There is nothing wrong with putting the price at exactly what you want so as to have the biggest buyer pool looking and then holding firm to that price. Looking through the sold listings I see many that have sold for the list price. However remember it is your home and you get to decide how and for how much you sell it.