Across the U.S., housing is currently at a five-month supply. That's considered a healthy seller's market. But when supplies build to seven months or more, the advantage moves to the buyer.
If you're a seller in a market that was hot but now not, you may be wondering what went wrong. Should you pull your home out of the race? Not if you want to sell.
Markets are constantly in motion even when they appear to be resting. The retreat in sales volume or sales prices may be short or it can last for a long time.
Most factors that impact housing are out of your control. You can't influence mortgage interest rates or create jobs that bring down the unemployment rate. But there are things you can do to help your home sell in a softer market.
Ask your real estate agent to give you a market analysis that will help you understand three-month to six-month trends. You'll be better prepared if you know that it may take longer to find a buyer.
Compete on condition
The closer to move-in ready you can make your home, the better. Put your home in clean, white-glove condition and stage it attractively to show off its best features.
Plan for demanding buyers
Buyers may ask you to pay closing costs, or to provide a home warranty, or make other concessions. Your real estate agent should be able to tell you which incentives may work with your listing. So be prepared to leave the washer/dryer, stainless fridge or your favorite chandelier.
If you want a quick sale, price below current comparables. If you can afford to wait longer to sell, price at current comparables. Whatever you do, don't price above the market.
Expect low-ball offers
No matter what price you put on your home, you are bound to get ridiculously low offers. That's the culture we live in. Encourage your agent to answer politely and to provide a copy of the comparables so the buyer can see you've priced to be competitive in the current market.
One thing you can count upon is that a softer market will get firmer. All it takes is home buyers willing to invest. By giving them a great home at a great price, you'll make it easy for buyers to say yes.