Tips for making the most of today’s real estate seller’s market



GENESEE COUNTY — Homeowners know that the process of buying and selling homes can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.

Historically low interest rates and limited inventory, not to mention a global pandemic, have made 2020 an especially unique time to buy or sell a home.

“It is a seller’s market right now,” said Amy Rechsteiner, a REALTOR® and Manager with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate in Grand Blanc. “Move-in ready homes are selling quickly and for top dollar.”

Even in a seller’s market, however, there are still things homeowners should do to ensure they get the most money back on their investment by prepping their home to sell. Rechsteiner offers some easy steps homeowners can take to be sure their property sells quickly and for as much as possible.

“De-clutter, thoroughly clean, touch up paint, make any necessary repairs, and add curb appeal. Staging your home can also help,” said Rechsteiner.

She added that REALTORS® are good at helping their sellers see their home from a buyer’s perspective and will often offer tips on staging and preparing their home. Sellers should also listen to the expert advice REALTORS offer on listing price.

“It’s probably the most important detail,” said Rechsteiner. “Under-price and leave money on the table. Over-price and the home will sit on the market, eventually selling for less than it should have. REALTORS® study the market and use comparables to help sellers set a price that will benefit them most.”

While it is a seller’s market, it’s also a great time to buy with interest rates being so low, said Rechsteiner. A competitive market may make it harder to find a new home once a homeowner sells their current home, but there are some ways to come out on top and land the home of your dreams.

“Having a strong down payment along with a solid preapproval from a local lender puts a buyer in a strong position to get the home they desire,” said Rechsteiner. “Being a cash buyer is also optimal.”

Again, she reminds homeowners and buyers that it’s important to follow the advice of a REALTOR® since a professional can help a buyer understand the market and the value of specific homes, as well as educate them on the different aspects of a strong offer.

Homeowners on the fence about selling may be tempted by the current seller’s market, but the decision to sell is a personal one, said Rechsteiner, and shouldn’t be made just because of the current climate.

“Over the long haul, real estate is a very good investment,” she said. “No one should ‘panic sell’ just because right now is a good time to sell. There will be seller’s markets again in the future. It is just the ebb and flow of real estate. It’s true that we need more listings for our buyers, but I would not want a seller to feel pressured into selling a home they love.”

If staying in your home is the right decision, homeowners may want to look at refinancing since interest rates remain low. If that is something a homeowner wants to explore, Rechsteiner recommends reaching out to their current mortgage lender and doing a bit of research on other reputable lenders to see who is offering the best rate and lowest closing costs, for example.

—Emily Caswell