Over the past few months, conditions weren't too bad for home sellers - inventory was still on the way up - so any homes listed had a fair number of potential buyers - Americans had more confidence in the economy and home prices were climbing. However, many of those seller-friendly trends are starting to wane.
Now, real estate professionals and home sellers are realizing that the housing market is starting to favor buyers. The oncoming winter isn't helping matters either, as activity across the board will begin to slow. Despite these concerns, there is still plenty sellers can do to gain an edge in today's market.
From an agent's perspective, here are a few things you should know in order to better help clients during the coming months:
Sellers begin to lose confidence
According to recent research from Redfin, sellers are losing confidence in the current housing market. As a result, many believe that they should wait to list their homes, holding out for better conditions in the near future.
Redfin's Real-Time Seller Survey found that the percentage of sellers who feel that now is a good time to sell dropped by 17 points from the second quarter of 2014 to the third quarter. Many sellers also ran into problems with their asking prices as well, when they listed their homes above market value and had to adjust after the fact.
"In July and August, sellers were testing the market by pricing their homes above market value," said Denver Redfin agent Paul Stone. "They were hopeful, but many got the message too late that the market had already shifted. They had to adjust their expectations and their home prices. As of September, it seems that sellers have gotten the memo and are pricing closer to market value."
In addition, Redfin reported that 59 percent of homeowners are waiting before selling in the hopes of better prices and higher inventory.
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Help sellers navigate market
As sellers' confidence wanes, it is incredibly important that you work with them to navigate this complicated market. According to The Chicago Tribune, there are several steps you can take to ensure buyers leave with a strong first impression.
For example, recommend to your clients that they walk around their properties before listing them on the market. At this time, it is crucial that you look out for damaged parts of the home, like missing shingles or worn paint, or even see if there is any landscaping that can be improved. Fixing these elements now, before the home is listed, can help fetch a higher price.
Furthermore, The Chicago Tribune suggested that you talk with your clients about the asking price. While it is only natural that sellers want to get the most money, listing too high can actually keep the home on the market and hamper buyer interest. Instead, price to sell in order to get the most activity.