Be A Zen Seller In An Anxious Market
Remain Calm. How To Channel Inner Peace Selling In This Market
Go ahead, drop the price again. And again. And again. You must sell now before everyone in the entire
universe sells their house, Godzilla eats the gutters, climate change floods your desert home, and your
house is worth less than the debt. Hire the dancing unicorns for the open house, Febreze the mailbox,
tie balloons to the chimney and drop the price again! That’s an amazing strategy. Good work, anxiety. You win!
How about this instead?
Take a deep breath. Breathe in logical, rational decision making, breathe out your panic about the great
reincarnation of the 2008 real estate market. Try it one more time. And again. Okay you are now ready
for a rational reckoning with our tips.
1. Stop Reading the Headlines: Your Local Market Matters. If you read the headlines, prices are
being slashed in half, nothing is selling and developers are selling subdivisions wholesale ala
Costco. Fortunately, the reality in many markets is a bit more dull. Certain markets are suffering
significant price decreases and inventory overload and others aren’t. Ask your agent or an
expert on your local market where your location is in this cycle. The greater Park City market is
experiencing price decreases but it still has a lack of inventory making it a fairly healthy,
balanced market similar to 2019. Typically areas in high demand suffer the least during a
market decline. Learn the facts about your area and act accordingly.
2. Are You Buying and Selling? Then It’s a Wash. I repeat this for the 1000 th time, if you have to
sell and you have to buy, unless you’re doing so in drastically different markets, it’s a wash. If
you’re selling in a market that has declined by 10% and buying in a market that has similarly
declined by 10% who cares? You lose on one end and save an equal amount on the other end.
Don’t get greedy and try to sell your house for more and buy the next one for less. That could
backfire spectacularly as you overprice your house in a declining market, then chase the market
down and sell it for less.
3. Do You Have to Sell? This is a critical and important question. If you are concerned about the
price at which you can sell your property, consider holding it and renting it out instead. Renting
is also worth considering if you ever plan to return to that location, have a unique irreplaceable
property or want to pass it down in your family. Too may people consider the downside of
renting out their property without adequately considering the myriad upsides such as building
equity, allowing a market to recover, keeping a sentimental property, and tax write offs. If you
need a place to live after renting yours out, you can use your new rental income to pay to rent a
property for yourself. In order to do this, you’ll want to make sure this works for you for at least
2 – 4 years to give the market adequate time to recover. If you do this, make sure you can get a
long term lease in writing for the property you’ll be renting. You don’t want to have to move
after the first year and it’s better to lock in rental rates now. If you have multiple pets this
strategy may not work as landlords are less inclined to take on a number of pets.
4. If You Have To Sell, Underprice The Competition. If you do have to sell, you should price to sell
now. In this somewhat uncertain market, you should price your house significantly less than the
competition to get it sold. Your most active buyers are the ones who are looking on the day you
list your home. You want to get those buyers to purchase by presenting an attractive deal. If
you price it at or over market value you’ll lose those buyers, then try to get other buyers’
attention with price drops as the market declines and competition stiffens. You’ll continue to
decrease your price until you sell for less than you would have initially had you priced it well.
Again, it’s the old adage list too high, list too long, sell too low. One agent told me there is no
such thing as underpricing a property because the market will correct it. She means that if you
underprice, you may get multiple or full price offers which is better than overpricing and not
selling in a declining market.
5. Be Patient If Your House Isn’t Selling. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sell and set
a disciplined timeline of price reductions if it doesn’t sell. For example, if it hasn’t sold after 90
days you will drop the price by X dollars or more depending on the market at that time. When it
comes time to drop the price, examine the competition thoroughly and underprice them. This
may be uncomfortable but it beats waiting another 90 days while the competition increases and
dropping the price again even more.
6. Accept Feedback and Fix Things You Can. Everyone hates getting feedback on their house but in
your market you may need it. It’s very painful to hear that your beloved kitchen where you
cooked up so many happy memories is dated and tired. Solicit feedback from your agent before
you put the house on the market and do all of the easy, free things such as de-cluttering and de-
personalizing. If your house isn’t selling, ask your agent for the buyer’s feedback on items you
can fix. You don’t need to hear about how it’s too close to a busy road. That’s not fixable. You
do need to hear about the stained carpet which is very fixable. There may be a way to change a
unique backsplash with good looking peel and stick tile or paint the raspberry powder room or
lay some luxury vinyl plank over tired tile. For something more extreme, you could consider
putting your furniture in storage and hiring a staging company. Older furniture dates a home
faster than you can say Tuscan Cheeto Kitchen circa 2010.
We hope these real estate tips help you patiently and calmly manage the sale or rental of your property.
After all, so much of real estate is psychological that being mentally prepared is more than half the
For more tips on getting your home ready for sale, check out Getting to Sold: All the Easy Home Fixes to Make in This Market