I'm a great believer in cycles -- in the stock market, in politics, in relationships, in life -- and definitely cycles in the U.S. real estate market. After cruising along for many months, or sometimes years, we can be yanked up short with a pronounced change in the marketplace. So how should sellers deal with this changing market? Here are some suggestions:
1.) REEL IN EXPECTATIONS. Not so easy to do when prices have been steadily increasing for the last few years -- many sellers still haven't quite adjusted their thinking to this emerging buyers market.
2.) PRICE PROPERTY REALISTICALLY. Forget about last year's figures -- find out what comparable properties have been selling for in the last 2 to 3 months, and what's currently on the market, and their prices -- and then price your property competitively.
3.) GET YOUR PROPERTY SALEABLE. Called "staging", it's now more important than ever to fix minor flaws, think about an extra coat of paint, tidy things up and maximize your "curb" appeal for people driving by. These little extras will greatly improve your chances of getting the best price for your property.
4.) PATIENCE. The inventory of properties for sale is much higher than a year ago. One of the truths about real estate is that ALL properties eventually sell, when the price is right -- in this type of market, it's just going to take longer than last year.
5.) BUYERS ARE THERE ! Most brokers are fairly busy showing properties -- it's just that buyers have more to select from, they are taking their time to find the right property, and they are making sure they're getting a good value.