My top 10 tips for selling your home in a buyers market

One – understand the market

To understand the market you are about to head into, it’s best to do your own research. I can give you advice and support but it’s a smart idea to get an idea of the market yourself, as ultimately the decisions are up to you. 

By being informed you will have a clear understanding of the process and outcomes that are happening in the community around you. Things to look at are: the average time to sell a property, current price trends, have listings changed, how is my local suburb performing?

Take a bit of time to feel confident in your decisions before starting the selling process.

Two – why am I selling?

There are many reasons to sell and not all are linked to finances. You may have a desired school zone you want to move to, or you may have your eye on a particular house, maybe it’s time for retirement, or you want to test the market, reduce your mortgage… the list goes on.

Having a clear reason as to why you are wanting to sell will make your decisions through the selling process much easier. Focusing on a clear objective and what result you want is key for a stressless selling process.

Bonus Tip – Have a backup plan. There is no guarantee you will sell in the ideal 4-6 week timeline. Have a plan as to what you will do if that is the case. Will you lower your price? Spend more on marketing? Hold firm?

Three – what is my house worth?

The big question… what is my house worth? Selling in a buyers market likely means that your house is worth less at the moment than it has in the past. I know it’s not the news you want to hear but it’s important to have an honest idea of what your house is worth in the current market.

A great way to get a realistic idea of what your house is worth, is to look at the recent sales in your area. Research how they were sold vs how they were marketed – did they sell above or below asking price?

Do an honest assessment of your house, this will help you have a realistic starting point to make decisions about your sale. It’s best to operate in the current market and to not get stuck on what your house was worth at a different time.

Four – create your strategy & price competitively

Buyers are now wanting a price indication upfront and will/can only place an offer if they have an idea of what might be accepted. The way you price your property can play a large role in how many viewers your property will get. Some buyers wont even view a home if there isn’t a price indication, so a careful balance is required to entice buyers. 

While it’s great to be optimistic on what your property can achieve, if you price your home above the current market you could be faced with a quiet and slow sales campaign. Starting your sales journey with a realistic price will give you a better chance to sell.

Bonus Tip -Work with your agent to create the best sales strategy for your property. They have a clear understanding of the current market and can recommend what they think is best. But don’t forget, in the end of the day, it’s your decision and you need to do what is best for you.

Five – market like a professional

First impressions are very important when it comes to selling your home. These days the first impression most commonly happens online, so you need to make sure your marketing images grab viewers attention so they are wanting to come see it in person. 

A good way to appeal to your buyer market is to see yourself from their perspective. How would they assess your property? When they compare similar properties for sale, will they be drawn to yours? What aspects of your property are ideal for them? And so on, this will help you get ahead in the real estate market.

Six – remove the negatives

In a buyers market the buyer has the power, they can be more picky in what they want in a house and overlook your great property if somethings isn’t up to scratch. Have a walk around your home and take notes of anything that might put a buyer off and what you can do about it before putting it on the market. 

Maintenance issues are a big thing that can put buyers off so put these on the top of your list. Things like leaking taps, marks on the walls or floors, doors which don’t open properly, healthy homes compliance etc. You don’t want a buyers eye to focus in on flaky paint or a broken door handle when your home would otherwise be perfect for them. 

Having a working bee and putting in a bit of elbow grease will pay off in the long run. 

Bonus Tip – It’s common for offers to be conditional on a builders report. Dealing with any items which may be flagged means less reasons for the buyer to say no. 

Seven – stand out!

By focusing on these things you can make your property perfect for a buyers eye. 

De-clutter – this can’t be overstated enough. Make sure all floors, surfaces, cupboards and shelves are free of piles of your own belongings, leaving only organised, purposeful items and one or two ornamental items that elevate the space rather than merely fill it. As well as making the house appear neat, tidy and well looked after, it will also help potential buyers visualise their own furniture and belongings in the property. If your budget allows you may also wish to consider having the property staged with rental furniture designed to appeal to your target market.

Clean – The need to clean might seem obvious but it’s worth getting a fresh set of eyes to let you know what needs work – or even get a professional cleaner through your property. A good place to start is: cleaning all floors, walls, skirting boards, windows and sills, mirrors and tiles. Dry clean your curtains, get your carpets shampooed, waterblast the exterior and mow/weed your lawns.

Dampness – Consider investing in a dehumidifier and use it before potential buyers view your home. Wipe any signs of mildew from walls, windows and sills. Make sure your bathroom feels light and well-aired.

Renovate – this is a more costly option but in some cases it might be what is needed to secure the right sale.

Eight – the little extras

As a buyers market is more competitive, you need to make sure your property will stand out. These added extras will help with that. 

Odours – Prior to your first open home or viewing, make sure your house is free of all pet smells, stale cigarette smells, stale food smells, damp smells or anything else that will give a negative first impression. Even if you can’t smell something, listen to your sales consultant if they say they can. Fresh baking or a scented candle can help make your home smell delicious. 

Temperature – It’s a bit of a tough one as everybody is comfortable with different temperatures but try to avoid your property being too cold or too warm on viewing days. Aim for dry and comfortable.

Sellers on site – As a rule, potential buyers do not want the home owner on site during a viewing. It will make them feels as though they are guests in your home, rather than buyers at a viewing. 

Bonus Tip – It may seem weird but having too many family photos up can make it hard for a buyer to visualise themselves living in your property. If you can, remove any large family photos and replace with artwork.

Nine – don’t rule out any offers

In this market you may find you are presented with offers under your asking price. Whilst this isn’t ideal, it is best to think about them and treat them as a starting point. As it’s a buyers market it is expected that you may have less people through open homes, less interest and less offers. That is why it is best to treat every offer as an opportunity to negotiate. 

Offers are most likely going to be conditional and have longer settlement times. It is best to be prepared for this situation and to be open to working with your buyer to achieve a result you are both happy with. 

Ten – close the sale

When pricing your property, it’s a good idea to allow a little wiggle room for negotiation. It will make the buyer feel like they have got a bit of a win and will keep the negotiation process positive. Another option is to offer to leave additional chattels or appliances with the property or to fix maintenance concerns prior to settlement.