What sellers can expect in a seller's market
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI

You are listing your home and feel on top of the world since the Realtor has just informed you it's a seller's market. As she explains it, there are too many buyers for the number of homes listed. It sounds like you'll have no trouble at all selling your home.

But be careful. Just because there are many prospects to view your home does'ít necessarily mean that they will all agree to your price and terms. One of the dangers of a seller's market (where sellers appear to have the controlling hand) is over-pricing property and standing firm until that price is met. While it's natural to want to sell your home for the highest price, falsely elevated prices in a seller's market can mean that when you buy again, you, too, will be paying an inflated price. Much of what you stand to gain on the sale side can be lost on the purchasing side.

Your Realtor can help you price your home properly by using the following techniques:

  • Using the most-current comparable sales to price your home: The Realtor will choose properties similar to yours, in similar neighborhoods, with similar amenities to assist you in determining just the right price range for your property. But the critical component is to find the most recent sales information on which to base your pricing decisions. In a seller's market, keeping up with what has sold most recently and what price it sold for can help you determine what you should ask for your home.
  • Using marketing techniques that best showcase your home: As a marketing specialist, your Realtor can show you which marketing strategies work and which don't for homes like yours. Together you can design a plan to get the property sold within an acceptable time.
  • Searching recent sales to uncover how sellers have best negotiated with buyers: Just because it's a seller's market doesn't mean that negotiating with buyers won't be important. Your Realtor will look at previous sales and help you determine which items you may need to be flexible about during negotiations and which items you will probably be able to stand firm on.

A seller's market may appear to be a bonanza for potential sellers. But don't take it for granted. If you price the property correctly and evaluate fairly all offers that you receive, it won't matter what type of market you're working in--you'll win big as a seller!

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