Can I Sell My House in a Buyer's Market?

There is often a reluctance to list your home for sale when you are living in a buyer's market. If done right, you call sell your home, even in a buyer's market.

A buyer's market is created when there are more sellers listing their homes than there are buyers looking for a new home.  The supply of homes exceeds the demand for homes.  Under these conditions, buyers can afford to be choosy since there have multiple options available to them.  They can take their time to find the perfect home.  Sellers will sometimes feel some pressure to drop their price to make a sale while others will just not list their home waiting for the market to change.  If you can't wait for the market to change, there are some ways to increase your chances of a successful sale.


The vast majority of sales are to people who initially see your house in the first 2 or 3 weeks.  If you set your listing price too high initially, you have limited the number of potential buyers.  Even if you lower the price after a few weeks, some people will just not circle back to check out your listing and you can miss out.  Set the price properly at the outset and you get a greater number of eyes on your listing.


When you are looking to sell, now is not the time to do any major upgrades like building a new deck or repainting the entire house because you will often pay more for the upgrade than you will gain in house value.  The fact is that everyone has their own individual taste, so spending now on a water feature will raise the house value for ONLY those people that like the feature.  In this example, many prospective home buyers might not be as happy with the new water feature as you are.

But fill holes in walls, replace broken switches, paint in neutral colours where necessary.  Bring your house up to speed because these little things get noticed and impact the buyer's impression of your home.  And if you need a repairman, ask your real estate professional to  provide you with some names,  We should all have a list of good professional repairmen (or repairwomen).


You want to make a good first impression.or buyers won't be interested enough to get a second impression.  Spend the money to get a professional home stager to create the right look and feel for your home and then have a professional photographer take their shots.  When buyers look at your listing, they won't see grainy, poorly lit photos of a cluttered and misused living space.  They will see sprawling luxury photos that look like they come from a magazine.  Most real estate professionals have home stagers and photographers on speed dial. I know I do, The choice to use them is yours, but be wary of real estate agents that insist on doing the photogaphy and staging themselves (unless they can show you a portfolio of their work...some are actually excellent at staging and photography).


When you compete with similar homes for sale, the buyer is looking for something that gives an edge to one home over another.  As the seller, prepare an information flyer for prospective buyers promoting the virtues and advantages of your community. Where are the day cares, schools, shopping, transit, recreational facilities, etc?  Talk about local green spaces or the easy commute or anything else that makes your community a great one in which to live.  This gives you an advantage over competing home sellers that don't go to these lengths. Create that desire in prospective home buyers to WANT to live in your community.  I personally provide this service to all my home sellers.


Even if you do everything right, it might take awhile for the right buyer to come along.  And when they do, they may be asking for changes you didn't anticipate.  Maybe they want an earlier possession date or want you to throw in an appliance you were hoping to keep. Don't let this turn you off.  This is a negotiation and I don't begrudge people stating what they want.  Weigh the offer with the changes, negotiate if necessary and you may find a deal you can live with to make the sale fair and equitable to both parties.  Inflexible sellers will be the ones missing out on opportunities in a buyers market and subsequently dropping their prices or cancelling their listings.

I hope this helps you to understand that all is not lost for a seller in a buyer's market.  You can sell your home.


My name is Hugh Harms.

If you have questions or needs regarding residential real estate, please feel free to contact me.


phone: 587-432-HOME (4663)

twitter: @Century21Hugh




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Hugh Harms

Hugh Harms

CENTURY 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
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