10.21.14 by Jeff Johnson
Someone being transferred for work or making a major move for personal reasons may have to buy and sell a home at the same time—selling in one market and buying in another. The ideal scenario would be to sell in a sellers’ market (low supply and high prices) and buy in a buyers’ market (large supply and low prices). The worst-case scenario is to do the opposite. Here are some tips for buyers and sellers in any market.
Know before you go
The days of a national estate market are gone. Today, markets vary by state, town, city and even block by block. So it’s important to start by researching the real estate market of the town or neighborhood that interests you. Two places to look are Zillow Home Values and realtor.com Local Information. And of course, you need to start working with a Realtor® in that market who knows that market.
How to sell in a buyers’ market
Selling your home in a buyers’ market can subject you to a harsh reality. Your market could be slow due to a high level of inventory, low demand from buyers or simply slow economic times.
If you need to sell in a buyers’ market, put your best foot forward from the start. Make sure your home is priced to sell. You may not have the luxury of waiting for six months to test the market. Homes will sell, no matter the market, when priced right.
Spend days or weeks removing junk and prepping your home for the market. You’ll have to pack up when you move anyhow, so it makes sense to start packing before you even list your home. Not only will it save time later, but it will help thin out the house, make more space available and help the home show better during open houses. Strongly consider any suggestions your agent makes for slight cosmetic fixes or staging.
How to buy in a buyers’ market
As a buyer in a buyers’ market you have lots to choose from and the full attention of sellers.
Take your time to see as many homes as possible to get the lay of the land. Focus on the most motivated sellers, as this is where you may uncover the best values. If a handful of homes meet your needs, ask questions such as: Why is the seller selling? What is the seller’s time frame for moving? How long has the seller lived in the home? You can ask these questions through your agent.
The more you ask, the more you may uncover just who is the most motivated seller. Be open to taking on some renovation work, because that can add value to the property. The market will eventually turn, and there’s no better feeling than knowing that you bought low, with some bonus equity from your changes.
How to sell in a sellers’ market
Along the West Coast, sellers are being overwhelmed with buyers at open houses and private showings. Demand is high, and things are moving quickly. But you still have to work at selling. If you don’t clean the home or present it to the market in its best possible light, you may leave money on the table for the buyer who is desperate for a “deal.”
If you have the luxury of receiving multiple offers, focus on the best buyer and the best terms and not so much on the bottom line. You want the buyer who is going to close. The last thing you want is to have to go back on the market. When this happens, everyone will wonder what’s wrong with your home.
It could be that the buyer got cold feet or remorse. If you aren’t sure who is the best buyer, ask your agent. The best buyer is the one who has seen the home multiple times, is pre-approved for a loan, has been in the market and has even lost out on recent home sales. This buyer is working with a local agent and committed to buying. Your agent will know who they are.
How to buy in a sellers’ market
Buyers in a sellers’ market find themselves frustrated over a lack of inventory and homes that sell quickly. The competition is fierce, and they need to invest a good part of their time on buying a home.
For a serious buyer, then, finding a home becomes a part-time job. Have your ducks in a row and your team in place. Work closely with a good local agent and a local mortgage pro. When a home hits the market, get in ASAP. Don’t wait for the open house, because a more aggressive buyer might get in and take it away before you do.
When competing with other buyers, have your inspections and do as much due diligence as you can before making an offer. An offer with swift, few or no contingencies is music to the sellers’ ear. They want to be sure the deal will close for the most money as quickly as possible. Find out what the sellers want and give it to them.
Reducing the stress of buying and selling
Understanding that all real estate markets are different, requiring different approaches, is always the first step toward success. After that, it’s important to plan well in advance. Buying and selling real estate can be extremely stressful. Approaching each transaction step by step, with as much advance planning as possible and the help of Realtor® local to your target market, can help relieve some of that stress. NewLook Realty Company specializes in the City of West Sacramento, CA., and the surrounding communities. We consistently get high ratings from our clients and rank as a top closer of sales in our service area, and you will benefit from our knowledge and expertise.
— Source: Zillow Blog