According to recent statistics released by Zillow®, Chicago is now ranked as the top buyer’s market in the United States. The combination of low home prices and a high number of long-standing homes for sale is giving Chicago’s buyers a significant advantage over homeowners currently looking to sell.
The determining factors for deciding Zillow’s top buyers’ markets were sale-to-list price ratios, the number of days a home spent on the market, and the percentage of homes for sale that have dropped in price. Other notable buyers’ markets in the U.S. include Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Cleveland.
So what does this mean for Chicago real estate agents and other agents in hot buyers’ markets? Unfortunately, it may mean home sellers are now going to be pickier than ever when hiring an agent to list and sell their home. Furthermore, there’s also going to be articles and blog posts out there from services like ForSaleByOwner.com encouraging home owners to opt for FSBO instead of taking an even bigger hit from both low housing costs along with expensive Realtor fees.
However, on the flip side, one can also argue that using a professional Realtor to sell your home in a buyer’s market is often much more important due to the high volume of competition at lower price points and the need for added exposure and marketing. In addition, determining the right price for your home is also a critical detail in the home selling process in a buyer’s market and all the advice you can get from someone working in the real estate industry on a daily basis will certainly go a long way towards making sure you aren’t under- or over-priced.
Whatever strategy home sellers are using in today’s market, I think one thing is certain: having a great real estate brand that gets you adequate exposure and recognition in your local market will always set you apart, especially in a market that favors buyers. So whether you’re an agent in Chicago, Houston, Cleveland, or Milwaukee, the best advice I can give you is to start investing more in web and search engine marketing (SEM); marketing yourself is always important, but when home prices are low, sellers demand results and it’s vital you’re prepared to handle anything when it comes to representing a potential client.