Here in Atlanta, GA we have been a Buyer's market for many years. Of course over the last 6-9 months it has become an even stronger Buyer's market and so the following advice should prove to be helpful to most of the countries sellers. I published the following article in our local magazine - InsideGwinnett.
What does it take to sell a home in a buyers' market - a fresh coat of paint or a kitchen overhaul? Lowering your asking price or offering incentives? From cosmetic to strategic, smart sellers can take advantage of a few simple tips to get the most out of their properties. Here are six strategies from the professionals at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to securing a "sold" sign:
- Boost your curb appeal. Though they may be obvious, cosmetic upgrades like painting and planting can truly go a long way to forming a fantastic first impression of your home. And be sure to clean, clean, clean!
- Make big fixes where you can. If your budget allows, invest in bigger improvements. Focus on "make or break" rooms like bathrooms and kitchens, because nothing says "uninviting" like an unattractive cooking space. If your budget is limited think about smaller home improvements in these areas which could help close the deal.
- Let the Internet work for you. Free online tools like the Coldwell Banker Home Tracker (www.coldwellbanker.com) or Home Value Estimator can assist you in gauging your property value including home improvements you have made to your home. Using online resources allows you to engage in a dialogue with your real estate broker and can assist you in setting the right price for your home.
- Transparency is golden. Getting a preliminary professional home inspection and sharing it with potential buyers may help them understand your home's condition and reinforce your position as a trustworthy and responsible seller. You should also be clear about recent improvements you have made, and provide estimates on other optional upgrades - especially any for which you would be willing to foot the bill.
- Go the extra mile. You can have your home pre-inspected and follow up by making necessary repairs. Allow potential buyers to see the report and receipts for the work. Offering a home warranty could also sway a buyer to purchase your home over another. Buying down mortgage rates or pay points on behalf of the buyer is another suggestion.
- Be realistic. Selling in a buyer's market takes skill and strategy. In most markets, increased inventory has given buyers the opportunity to be selective in the home they want and the price they are willing to pay. Properly priced homes are selling and your sales associate will work with you to determine what that price should be. Also understand that it normally takes a bit longer to sell a home in buyer's market than in a seller's market.
One of the most important things to remember as a Seller in a Buyer's Market is that once you sell, you will be a Buyer. With interest rates still at all time lows, now is a great time to upgrade to a larger home. If you take a 10% hit on a $200,000 home and get a 10% gain on a $400,000 home then at the end of the day you will be ahead $20,000 ahead. Call and talk to one of our professional REALTORS today and find out exactly how you can profit from this market - Even as a SELLER!