By Reid Buckley 

You’ve waited this long to sell your home and now the real estate market is softening. The good news is that real estate has had unimaginable appreciation in the past two years. The even better news is that you have a new baseline of value, and real estate is an asset class you can enjoy every single day — even if the value fluctuates a little.

It’s impossible to gauge the top and bottom of a real estate cycle in advance, so don’t feel like it’s too late — it’s not! Economic indicators do point in the direction of a recession, though, so if your goal is to sell in 2022 don’t wait to list any longer.

In order to sell this year, here are some suggested steps to help you make the most from the sale of your property:

#1 Don’t be greedy. Sellers who think it is still January, 2022, with virtually no inventory and multiple buyers for each house, are finding that their homes are not selling in one day and they need to adjust their price. Get pricing advice from several real estate agents who specialize in your type of home so you can set a realistic price for today’s changing market.

#2 Follow the pre-COVID advice: prepare your home for sale. In order to stand out from the increasing competition, make sure your home is clean, staged (if needed), and depersonalized enough that potential buyers can envision themselves moving in. Unless you really underprice your property, in which case you’ll get a lot of traffic and perhaps several offers, you probably need to approach the sale as you would a business venture. Make a plan for completing the “honey-do” list and hire cleaners to give it a good scrubbing.

#3 Be prepared for offers that are less than full price. It’s true that some buyers were paying full and sometimes over full price for properties, but those days are gone. If you get an offer that is less than full price, don’t be offended and start negotiating. An experienced real estate agent can help navigate the negotiation process to help you get the most advantageous terms for your needs. Remember, it is not just the price that is up for negotiation! Other terms to negotiate are down payment, home inspection, time to settlement, rent-back period, and more.

With interest rates now double what they were six months ago — and perhaps heading even higher — and inflation that cannot be mitigated with monetary policy, many economists feel we are in a pre-recession. One barometer of the changing real estate market is rising inventory. For waterfront homes in Anne Arundel County, the total number of homes for sale has doubled since January. 

Given the increased competition, you will want your property to stand out above similar homes in order to sell this year. Your home must look as good as possible, but also seem like a good value. So, set the price correctly and make your home as presentable as possible to reach your goal of selling this year.

Reid Buckley, MBA, is a third-generation licensed real estate agent and waterfront specialist with The Mr. Waterfront Team of Long & Foster Real Estate. or 410-366-6880

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