The Housing Market Is Finally Cooling. Here Are 3 Strategies Sellers Should Keep in Mind

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  • Buyers may be regaining negotiating power after years of sellers having a clear upper hand.
  • If you're looking to sell a home, it's important to do so mindfully now that the market is cooling off.

It pays to employ these if your goal is to get the most money from the sale for your home.

For the past two years, the housing market has lacked inventory in a serious way. That's led to a series of bidding wars and a string of sky-high home prices.

But while homes are still expensive to buy, the housing market is finally showing signs of cooling off. And that means buyers could soon regain their edge after years of having limited negotiating power.

If you're looking to sell a home this year, it could pay to move quickly. Mortgage rates could keep rising over the course of 2022, and that in turn could push more buyers out of the market. That's something you'll want to get ahead of.

But if you're going to sell a home right now, you must do so strategically in order to walk away with the most profit. Here are three tips to employ in that regard.

1. Price your home reasonably from the start

There was a time when sellers could command ridiculously high prices for their homes and get away with it. But those days may be behind us.

This isn't to say that you won't come out with a decent sale price for your home. But if homes in your area that are comparable to yours are generally selling for around $450,000, don't be so bold as to list yours for $525,000. Doing so could cause buyers to not even consider your listing.

2. Address small repairs before listing your home

There was a moment when housing inventory was so limited and buyers were so desperate to capitalize on affordable borrowing rates that they were willing to overlook obvious flaws in a home -- things like worn carpet or even malfunctioning appliances. But now that the market is cooling, you can't afford to lose out on buyers who won't want to take on minor repairs immediately upon moving in.

Rather than letting that happen, address those issues prior to putting up your listing. Spending a few thousand dollars on things like fresh paint, updated flooring, and faucets that function throughout your home could result in a much higher sale price, so that you ultimately come out ahead financially.

3. Don't go it alone

Since buyer demand is still pretty strong, you may be tempted to sell your home on your own rather than hire a real estate agent. But skipping the agent could be a huge mistake.

Not only can a real estate agent negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf, but they can also help you price your home just right. And at a time when buyers are starting to be more choosy, that's an important thing.

Let's be clear -- we're nowhere close to a housing market crash, and property values are still largely holding strong on a national level. But in some markets, home prices are already starting to come down, and properties are sitting without bids for longer. As a seller, it's important to recognize that the market may finally be settling down -- and to do what you can to squeeze out as much of a profit as possible.

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