After the downturn in economics in 2008, the real estate market was a struggle for realtors as well as purchasers and sellers. For those who have cash for a home purchase, or have the ability to get a mortgage, there has never been an opportunity to purchase properties. Real Estate is, and will remain for some time the market for buyers. Sellers are still adjusting to this new trend, and need to be aware of what this means when they prepare their house for sale. I will outline both the buyer and seller's perspectives in this article to help both sides be able to see clearly the current market. Home Buyers: What are they looking for in the current Real Estate Market? Since buyers are now an elite group with plenty of choices, they're able to be selective when it comes to the homes they buy. Today, I've found that many of my buyers want to walk into instant equity in the property they buy. There are numerous opportunities to buy short sales or foreclosure properties in which the buyer can get equity providing the property is good condition. Most often, these types of home purchases will require updating and/or repairs. Homebuyers who want to get "instant equity" in the purchase of their home must prepare by two methods. A down payment of between 5-20% is required based on the we buy any house type of loan they can qualify for. Home buyers also need to make certain their credit scores are high enough to be able to get loan approval. Buyers who prefer to purchase homes that aren't owned by banks should make their purchase based on an appraised value. A knowledgeable home buyer is looking for a house in pristine condition. The buyer of this type will probably expect to move into the property and not be required to undertake any repairs to the property. This kind of expectation is particular for buying real estate when people are relocating from larger properties to smaller ones. Even though some states may not need it, buyers will demand home inspections prior to buying. I suggest my buyers to avoid getting too concerned about the cosmetics of a home (i.e. carpets need to be replaced, hole in the dry wall and wood rot on the fence). These small problems with the home can be fixed easily. I encourage home buyers to be focused on the structural integrity the home instead. This means that electrical, plumbing, heating as well as air conditioning must be in good shape. These aspects of a home influence the overall integrity of the property, and require time consuming and costly repairs. Take note that some FHA and VA loans won't be approved mortgages unless the property is solid and structurally sound. Today, buyers of homes aren't able to count on purchasing the property and then selling it within a year or two later. Buyers of homes should be planning on keeping the property for three or more years regardless of whether it needs to be converted into a rental property. The buyer of today's real estate has several more demands than the buyer of just three or more years ago. For Home Buyers: Time Realization Check In the case of properties on sale for which I as the listing agent I recommend my sellers keep to the core strengths of a property. If a seller is truly looking to sell the property, he or should evaluate the current price as well as the location and condition. Pricing a Property for Sale There's no doubt that price is the main criterion for real estate transactions today. The majority of counties and cities have increased their assessments over the last five years. The assessments currently generally correspond to the appraised value of the property. This is a bad thing for property owners who have lost equity in their homes. In many real estate markets, short sales and foreclosures are typically sold close to the property that is listed and appraisers are required to consider these comparable sales when estimation of the value of a house. Sellers shouldn't be too surprised when an agent requests them to price their property below the current assessed value. The ability to meet this request for pricing is required if there numerous foreclosures or distressed properties in their neighborhood homeowner has sold his properties at a lower price than the market out of necessity. If I request a home seller to reduce his or her price in exchange for a reduction in price, they are usually inclined to take this personally. It is just like I told the seller his or her children look ugly and the grandkids will be ugly too. Sellers of homes: it's time to conduct a reality-check. Don't take the advice to lower a selling price for yourself! I know when a property is priced properly due to a peak in interest as measured by an increasing number of inquiries and showings. If a property has been on the market for more than three months and hasn't been shown, it is probably overpriced. Selling a home in a convenient or popular Locality Do not try to improve your house for the benefit of neighbors. Home sellers should remember this rule of thumb in real estate: your home does not need to be the largest or best, but it is definitely beneficial to be near the most prestigious and largest. If a property is close to a metropolis, or located in a luxurious subdivision, more people will want to purchase it. These areas should be highlighted in the price. If a house is 25 minutes from town, and it takes a half hour to go to the store, the amount of time a home spends on the market will most likely be longer. Sellers: Take a critical Review of the condition of the home and make changes The first impression that a potential buyer gets of a property is one that lasts. Landscaping doesn't cost much and is well worth the money when you're selling a home. Curb appeal can encourage buyers to get out of the car and move into the home. In the garden, plant flowers. Put a wreath on the door. If a home has old orange shag carpet and green laminate countertops, this could reflect in the cost of the house. Spend some money on improving the property. If a seller is really keen to complete a house sale, then he or wants the property to stand out above other properties. Sellers are now expecting reimbursement for upgrades and improvements. However, in this marketplace it's different. Be aware that buyers can afford to be picky. Upgrade the property in order to make it more enticing and help the property sell faster. But don't expect these upgrades to increase the price of a property. The more dated a home is the longer it's going to sit in the real estate market. A buyer can just as effortlessly purchase a bank-owned property that needs improvement, at a cheaper price. It's a price-driven market. You can make your home easier to sell by making improvements prior to when you put it on the market. Where do home buyers and Sellers Get Together? There are some excellent homes on the real estate market and some great deals currently. Should both of the parties be willing to negotiate and are reasonable the chances are they'll eventually get to the final table. A home that is vacant with mortgage repayments, taxes and utility expenses drains the monthly earnings and reserves. The owners who have put their property listed for sale for a while should seriously consider dropping the price of $5,000-10,000 in order to close a sale, rather then spending money month after month. What to Expect when Selling a Home in the Current real Estate Market... Since down payments are currently mandatory, buyers of homes will generally ask for closing costs to be borne with the help of the seller. If the seller isn't financially able to cover all closing costs I recommend that they offer at the very least some form of assistance. If the property is sold as is, and the owner of the house does not plan on doing any improvements - be prepared to negotiate the price.