Selling in a cooling market: 7 tips for success

By: Matt Busch

Selling in a cooling market: 7 tips for success

Tags: Sell your home!

There’s been a massive shift in the market – available listings are up, competition is down, and it’s getting easier (and in many cases cheaper) to buy. Which is great for buyers, but where does that leave sellers? 

You can still sell for a good price, but be prepared for fewer buyers, less competition and more offers under asking. Agents are using different strategies than they did at the height of the market.

Here’s what we recommend if you want to put your best foot forward as a seller…

1. Adjust your expectations.

For most areas, the days of multiple, way-over-asking offers are over. Talk to your agent to determine a price that will work for buyers – and for you. But be realistic: it probably won’t be what you could have gotten back in February. But if you research what has sold recently in your neighbourhood (and for how much), you’ll be able to arrive at a price buyers may be more willing to pay. 

Also, be realistic about timing. While there are certain properties that will always be in high demand – the ones with the best views, layouts and locations – the less “special” listings will inevitably take longer to sell. 

2. Make your property super-appealing.

While staging and presentation have always been important, they’re even more vital now that buyers have so many listings to choose from. There are a lot of properties for sale right now, and you want yours to outshine the competition. Don’t cut corners here: professional staging with neutral colours and modern furnishings opens buyers’ eyes to the possibilities of a space. Do everything you can to make them fall in love with it. 

And it goes without saying that it should be in tip-top shape – no discoloured caulking, missing handles, or chipped drywall. Give it a fresh coat of paint in a neutral tone, make sure all minor fixes are done, and put your stuff in storage while your place is on the market. 

3. Market the heck out of it.

Slick, professionally-shot photos, 3D tours and listing videos will get people’s attention online. But these days, you may need to do even more than that to get your listing the attention it needs – direct mail, newsletters to relevant buyers, printed feature sheets and brochures, targeted advertising, social media content and more. 

4. Get feedback.

When potential buyers come for viewings but don’t make an offer, your agent should be proactively contacting them to find out why. That feedback will help you make any changes you need to increase appeal – and get a better understanding of what buyers in your area or price range are looking for. 

5. Remember that you're a buyer too.

While you may get less for your home than you would have a few months ago when you sell, you’ll also probably pay less for what you buy – you won’t have to compete with dozens of other buyers and completely destroy your budget to get a place. 

6. Look at the big picture.

Yes, prices have decreased over where they were a few months ago. But if you step back and look at values year-over-year, they are still higher. You’ll probably be able to sell for more than you could have this time last year. What we saw in early 2022 was a blip. Now we’re back to more reasonable – and more sustainable – price appreciation. 

7. If you're selling, do it for the right reasons.

If your sole reason for wanting to sell right now is to make a killing, then this probably isn’t the best time, But if you need to sell, you can still do well. It just takes some patience and an agent with a good sales strategy that’s appropriate for the market. Remember you probably will not sell what your neighbour sold for 8 - 12 months ago, but if your expectations are realistic, you can make the transition to your next home.

Also, remember, if you are staying in the real estate market the pricing will always be relative, and during these down markets its actually a good time to upsize if you are utilizing a lot of capital/ less mortgage, as higher priced homes have come down more in actual dollar value. 


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