Home Sold Buyers Market

HOW TO GET YOUR HOME SOLD (IN A BUYER’S MARKET)

I think just about everyone would agree that the Chicago real estate market is officially a buyer’s market. What exactly does that mean? The definition of a “buyer’s market” is when there are more sellers than buyers, thus creating larger supply than demand, and if you ever took an economics course, you would conclude that prices would then have to fall until there was balance. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case.

The days of selling your home the moment it goes on the market or a few days later for the listing price or even more are over, so how do you get your home sold in this type of market? First, you will need to find the value of your home’s value in today’s market. This can be accomplished by either hiring an appraiser (for a fee), or a local licensed real estate agent (this service is usually free). Since real estate agents offer this service for free, it’s generally a good idea to get 2-3 opinions. They will analyze your home and compare it to similar properties in the area that have sold, as well as, ones currently on the market.

Assuming you are satisfied with the current value of your home, the second step is to determine the best approach to selling it. You may want to try selling it FSBO (for sale by owner), listing it with a full service real estate company, or a discount real estate company that will list your home in the MLS for a flat fee. There are pros and cons to each approach.

FSBO-

Pros:
-Doesn’t need to pay a commission, therefore can be more flexible on price

Cons:
-Limited exposure-home will not be listed on MLS or Realtor.com
-Pay all advertising out of own pocket
-Having to schedule and attend all showings
-Must be there for open houses

Discount Real Estate Company-

Pros:
-Inexpensive to list your home on the MLS
-Will explain real estate terms and contracts
-Assist with negotiating

Cons:
-Having to pay money out of your pocket before your home sells
-Responsible for all advertising costs
-Must offer commission to buyer’s agent if home is sold through the MLS
-May have to schedule and attend showings, and open houses

Full Service Real Estate Company-

Pros:
-Costs you nothing until your home sells

-Home will be listed on the MLS & Realtor.com in addition to other real estate publications and websites
-Will provide a free home evaluation
-Does not need to schedule or attend any showings
-Will handle all negotiations
-Will explain real estate terms and contracts

Cons:
-Commission is due upon sale of the home

If you decide to list your home with a full service real estate company, I recommend interviewing multiple agents prior to making your final decision. Prepare a list of questions, such as, what will you do to get my home sold? Are you a full-time real estate agent? How long have you been in the business? You should also ask for a couple references of both previous and current clients, and contact them to see if they were satisfied with their service.

In a buyer’s market it’s very important to get the most exposure possible for your home, so if you decide to list with a real estate agent, make sure they have a solid marketing plan that will maximize your home’s exposure.

Here are some additional tips to help get your home sold:
· Price your home competitively
· Make sure your home is clean both inside AND outside. Curb appeal is important because the exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and a good first impression can go a long way in selling your home.
· Consider paying for a professional home inspection. This way you will be aware of any problems before a potential buyer will. Nothing kills a deal faster than a major issue with the home inspection.
· Offer incentives. If your home’s flooring is worn and/or outdated, or you plan on taking some of your appliances, offer some form of compensation up front.
· Assist with buyer’s closing costs. This will usually appeal to first-time home buyers, as well as, cash-strapped buyers.