How to sell your home in a buyer’s market

A residential neighborhood in Austin in May 2022. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Austin’s home market has undoubtedly cooled, with rising inventory and steadily lower asking prices, leaving some homeowners suddenly worried about their sales prospects.

Why is this important: In recent years, it’s the buyers who worry, now it’s the seller’s turn.

By the numbers: The average number of days a home was on the market in the five-county metropolitan area rose from 13 days in August 2021 to 25 days last month.

In his last Rockwell Report real estate newsletter, real estate agent Lilly Rockwell breaks down the local market.

His backing advice: “Don’t sell or buy based on what’s happening in the housing market and buy/sell when it makes sense to you.”

  • “But let’s say that for some reason it makes sense that you sell your house right now,” she wrote. “Maybe you are growing your family and need more space. Maybe you got a job offer in another state. Maybe you are getting a divorce. Whatever your reason, it’s very possible to sell your home in a buyer’s market.”

Her five things to know on selling in a slow market:

  • “Do you need to sell? Maybe renting makes sense.”
  • “Condition really, really matters. When inventory runs out, buyers have more choices. And that means they can be picky. Really picky. So it’s important to invest in upgrades that deliver the best return on investment. Some of the more common ones I recommend are new paint and flooring.”
  • “Be realistic about how long it takes to sell. Now that we’re in a slower market, it will be more common for homes to take a month or two to sell, sometimes after a price drop or two.”
  • “The price of your home at, or even below, where the market is when you put your home up for sale is so important. Not where the market was last March – where it is TODAY. difference between selling in a few weeks and selling in a few months.”
  • “Have a base price and a plan B. When selling in a tough market, you need to have a ‘base’ price in mind. It’s the number you need to hit for the sale to make sense for you. you.”

What they say : “I find myself more than ever playing the part of the therapist to panicked salespeople who have crumbled emotionally in a dark place thinking they’ve missed the boat forever and there will be no selling,” Rockwell writes.

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