Selling A House In A Buyer’s Market? Here’s How To Stay Competitive
Though experts didn’t expect a buyer’s market for another year or two, it seems some parts of the country — particularly hot metros like New York and Seattle — are already in one.
Sellers are slashing prices, inventory is on the rise, and bidding wars have all but disappeared.
Seattle’s a case in point. According to Redfin, only 21% of homes sold in Seattle last month had more than one bidder — the lowest rate of multiple offers since 2011. Last year, 79% of homes in the broader Seattle metro area saw a bidding war.
It’s a sign that the tables are turning — and despite rising mortgage rates, buyers may start to have the upper hand in some markets as we head into 2019.
What does that mean for sellers? According to Compass agent Brian Lewis, who claims New York City’s No. 3 most-expensive resale of 2018 (a $42 million-dollar listing on Billionaire’s Row), it simply requires some “outside the box” thinking.
“To shoot the property video, I had cameras placed in the apartment for four hours before, during and after sunrise, and I did the same for sunset,” he said. “This way we created an amazing time-lapse that showcased all the light that flows into the apartment throughout an entire day.”
According to Simon Chen, CEO of ERA Real Estate, sellers and agents should also leverage technology to improve their chances. Things like virtual drone tours, smart home technologies, Bluetooth-enabled electronics and movement-activated cameras, lights and technology systems are all great choices.
According to Lewis, Chen and other industry experts, here are some other strategies agents and sellers can keep in mind as the market softens:
Focus on a comfortable, client-focused relationship.
“I used to be a bellman at the Four Seasons hotel for years, and I used to be nervous, thinking to myself, ‘This is the Four Seasons, I have to act more rich!’ I quickly learned that it wasn’t that at all. Everybody wants to be comfortable and well-served, regardless of where they come from.” — Lewis
Leverage social media.
“Taking advantage of a robust social media campaign can promote your property and increase visibility of your home across multiple digital platforms.” — Chen
Cut costs where you can — and reinvest those savings.
“Trim costs where possible. Cut all expenses that are not absolutely necessary. With those savings, invest in any marketing expenses that are generating at least a four-to-one return.” — Ron Wexler, The Wexler Group at Keller Williams Preferred Realty
Get creative with your listing descriptions.
“I reinvented the narrative of the home by changing up some of the wording, and I created a little story around the home. In a listing description, you have to educate the consumer, but you also have to use a bit of poetry to create a feeling around the home.” — Lewis
Keep things positive.
“We can’t control events around us, but you can control your mindset. Keep meetings free of negative news and instead encourage yourself and fellow agents to only focus on how you are helping your clients succeed.” — Wexler
Make it feel like home.
“People always remember how they feel in a home. Even the most sophisticated investor type will remember how they feel. I invited some buyers to sit on the couch with me, drink champagne and enjoy the sunset for two hours. This experience will show them what it feels like to actually live in the home.” — Lewis
Stay in touch.
“Go back to your database to check in with clients at least twice a month. Your message should be that you are a tough agent who can help them navigate a challenging market. Also, make sure all of your marketing efforts position you as the local expert.” — Wexler
By Aly J. Yale | Dec 10, 2018 | Forbes.com