Selling your house in a buyer’s market

With the series of measures implemented by the government to cool down the property market, sales activity in the housing sector has been slow. Buyers are also more cautious now given the increased supply of properties in both the private and HDB markets. Hence, smart buyers are playing it to their advantage to get a better deal from property sellers. .

Having said that, this does not necessarily mean that sellers are at the mercy of buyers, but it does call for them to PACE themselves if they want to make the best out of this tough situation.

Price it right

Most homeowners who wish to sell their property have been waiting eagerly for the market to rebound. However, this is not going to happen in the short term, so let’s be realistic.

For those who have to sell their property now, they need to manage their expectation and not “over-price” it. The age of ridiculously high COV is over, unless, of course, you own a unit at the Pinnacle@Duxton- but that’s another story.

Sellers should find out the asking and transaction prices of properties within their vicinity from online property websites. This will give them an idea of the kind of prices they should be looking at, and use this as a benchmark to price their property.

To be fair, even with the current prices, sellers who purchased their flats directly from HDB will still reap good returns given the capital appreciation in the last 3-5 years. With the right pricing strategy that reflects the current market value, sellers will be able to achieve both goals: sell their house and make a profit.

Arrange for a good representative

Sometimes, having an experienced agent is all you need. Get referrals from family members and friends on contacts of successful and reliable property agents to represent you.

Choose someone who has in-depth knowledge of the property market, a good sales record, and knows exactly how to market your property. An excellent agent will have a tried and proven strategy to help you get interested buyers to come and view your property.

They will also be able to provide you with sound and timely advice. ERA Property Navigator James Sim states that a qualified agent “should be able to provide financial advice on restructuring your property portfolio, such as a five-year plan after you sold your house.” Most importantly, they are equipped with the eloquence and persuasiveness to negotiate the best deal for you.

Create a great first impression

After you have chosen an agent to handle the marketing aspects, now it’s time to review your property. Look around your house and ask yourself, based on first impression, will I want to buy this if I am the buyer?

If you can’t give an outright yes, then what are the underlying issues? Is the house too cluttered? Is the paint on the walls peeling? Kitchen full of stains? Identify these issues and rectify them.

Getting your house clean and tidy will create a great first impression for potential buyers, giving them the idea that your property is in “move in” condition. This will definitely help to close the deal sooner compared to one that looks shabby.

Engage the IT-age

We live in an age of technology and selling anything has never been easier. Nowadays, most agents don’t just list property on online property websites, they also advertise themselves on Facebook and Instagram to create additional buzz.

You can do the same too. Repost the links from your agent and tap into your own network of contacts. You never know when a friend of your friend might just be interested in getting a house in your area.

Nevertheless, James cautions against sellers posting their house for sales directly on social media as other property agents would most likely want to get in touch with you, knowing that you are trying to sell your house. So unless you are ready to receive tons of online messages from unknown agents out there, you should simply stick to reposting links from your agent.

Though selling a property in a buyer’s market requires slightly more effort, when you learn to pace yourself the right way, your odds of selling the house will be greatly increased.

Article written by Praise Poh and edited by Adam Rahman, Senior Content Marketing Executive