A couple of weeks ago, I did a market update for our local radio station KNRS. As I was preparing the data for the show, I realized that we had a tale of two markets on our hands.

You see, if we look at the availability of all the housing types across the entire Wasatch Front under $300,000, we have about a three-month supply of homes available. In a real estate market, it’s considered a level market when you have between a four-to-six-month supply of homes available. When there are fewer than four months, it’s considered a seller’s market. When there are more than six months, it’s considered a buyer’s market. “I want you to be able to win no matter what market you’re completing in.” In any price point less than $300,000, then, it’s absolutely a seller’s market. Here are three quick strategies you can use to help you compete if you’re a buyer in that market:

  1. Be the first to know. Your agent should be able to match your specific home buying criteria so you can be the first to know about homes as they become available. This will allow you to weed out the competition and avoid multiple offer scenarios that may cause the price of the home to increase.
  2. Get a full approval letter. This will take you through parts of the underwriting process, and that’s exactly what the seller wants to see. This will turn you into a cash buyer in the eyes of the seller and help you stand out from the competition.
  3. Try using an escalation clause on the offer you write. For example, you could state that you’re willing to offer X amount of dollars higher than the highest net offer the seller receives, provided the cost doesn’t exceed a certain price.

As I said, we’re experiencing a tale of two markets. The other market I’m referring to is all the housing types above $500,000, in which there is a 10-month supply of homes. This, obviously, is a buyer’s market. Here are three tips you can use if you’re a seller to ensure your home priced more than $500,000 sells fast and for the most amount of money:

  1. Boost your curb appeal. It’s a fact of life—everyone judges a book by its cover. Make sure the front door’s got a fresh coat of paint on it and the landscaping looks good. Take photos now if you’re planning on listing over the winter.
  2. Stage the home. Clear off all the flat surfaces in the property of everything other than decorative items. Clean lines show the property, and it’s the property you’re selling, not the stuff. Flat surfaces run vertically as well as horizontally, so make sure both surfaces are cleared of all clutter.
  3. Price the home right. Be sure to use accurate comparables within your micro-market and view those comparables through the eyes of the buyer.

Regardless of what tale our market is telling, I want you to win. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!