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Selling Property in a Buyer’s Market

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By Jason Parks, Branif Scott and Ania Bulis

With so many properties for sale and
so many eager sellers willing to strike
a deal, what does it take to make a
property trade hands, while others
remain stagnant on the real estate
market? Although there is no magic
bullet, there are some measures sellers
can take to put their home at the
forefront of the pack:
1) Pricing real estate correctly ultimately
has the greatest impact on
whether or not your property garners
interest from buyers and realtors
alike. Sellers often price properties
higher because they fear having to
negotiate with buyers, only to lower
their asking price over the course of
the listing. Had the property been
priced realistically from the onset,
chances are it would have sold and
the seller would have avoided chasing
a downward market.
2) Pricing aside, buyers are often looking
for means to offset ownership cost.
In a second home market, one obvious
method is rental income. When
selling a rental property, have rental
numbers handy (both gross and net)
for potential buyers to review. Historical
rental revenue gives buyers a sense
of comfort, even if they have no intention
of actually renting it.
3) Maintenance is often overlooked in
a second home market. While preservation
and non-critical repairs are frequently
deferred, they will no doubt
creep up during inspection. Perform
inspections when listing a property
for sale, especially if it’s summer or
fall. Winter snowfall prevents inspectors
from giving opinions on roofs,
drainage and foundations. Inspections
done in advance can prevent buyers
from requesting a withholding at
closing, and can also allow sellers to
mitigate and repair critical items prior
to the listing.
4) Presentation is crucial. A clutterfree
and clean home is a necessity.
Highlighting the features or amenities
of a property is also beneficial.
For example, if a property has great
ski access, make certain that is apparent
and accessible. This may entail
additional grooming or shoveling,
but is worth the effort. Alternatively,
wooded home sites often benefit
from having a viewing platform or
trees thinned. Buyers sometimes
have a difficult time visualizing the
highlights and assets of a property,
and removing the guesswork has a
positive impact.
5) Last, but not least, be amenable to
creative structures and solutions. In
the last year, Big Sky had an uptick
in sales involving both seller financing
and trades. Trades provide two
sellers the opportunity to liquidate
properties, with one party upgrading
and the other trading into a smaller,
less expensive property. This is one
way to diminish debt and/or reduce
exposure, as well as free up capital,
depending on one’s financial picture.
There are a few factors that sellers
cannot control, location being the
most obvious. Some properties simply
have the benefit of a great view,
ski access or a perfectly situated home
site. Others have the good fortune of
being considered a “scarcity,” despite
the fact that inventory levels remain
elevated. Nonetheless, even the most
ideally positioned property benefits
from appropriate pricing and will
stand out to buyers and their realtors
with some of these suggestions
Ania Bulis, Branif Scott and Jason
Parks are all Brokers with The Signature
Group at Christie’s Great Estates |
PureWest in Big Sky.

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