Since the economic downturn of 2008 the market for real estate was a struggle for realtors and buyers and sellers. For those with cash for a home purchase or are able to obtain a mortgage, there has never been an opportunity to purchase property. Real Estate is, and will remain for some time, a buyer's market. Sellers are still adapting to this shift and have to be realistic about what this means for them when they prepare their homes to be sold. I'll discuss both the buyer and seller's viewpoints in this article to enable both sides to have a better understanding of the tenor of the present market. House Buyers: What are They Looking for in the current real Estate Market? As buyers are an elite group with plenty of options, they are able to be selective about the properties they acquire. Nowadays, I have noticed that a lot of my clients are looking to gain instant equity when they purchase. There are opportunities to buy short sales, or foreclosed houses where the purchaser can gain equity provided the property is in good condition. The majority of these kinds of purchases of homes require repairs or updates. Homebuyers who want to get "instant equity" on the purchase of a home need to prepare in two ways. The first is that a down payment of 5-20% may be required based on the type of loan they can qualify for. Home buyers must also check that their credit scores are high enough to obtain lending approval. Those buyers who prefer to purchase homes that aren't owned by banks should make their purchase based upon a current appraised value. A knowledgeable home buyer will seek out a property that is in excellent condition. The buyer of this type will most likely want to move in and we buy any house not need to do any maintenance on the property. This kind of expectation is especially true for buyers of real estate who are looking to downsize from larger home to smaller. Although some states might not need it, buyers will demand home inspections prior to purchasing. I recommend my home buyers not to get too focused on the appearance of a property (i.e. carpets need to be replaced hole in the dry wall and wood rot on the fence). The minor problems that plague homes are fixable. I suggest home buyers look at the structural integrity of the property instead. This means the heating, plumbing, electric, air conditioning and roofs must be in good shape. These aspects of a home affect the integrity of the property, and require time consuming and costly repairs. Be aware that certain FHA or VA loans won't be approved mortgages unless the property is sturdy and solid. In the present, homeowners do not have the luxury of owning the property and then selling it one year or two later. Buyers of homes should be planning to own the home for three or more years regardless of whether it needs to be converted into rental property. Today's real estate purchaser has many more requirements than buyers had to meet in the past three years or more. For Home Buyers: Time to A Reality Check In the case of properties on sale for which I am the listing agent, I recommend my sellers return to the traditional qualities of a property. If a seller is truly looking to sell his or her home, he should evaluate the current price, location and condition. Pricing a property for sale There's no question that price is the primary criterion for real estate transactions today. A majority of cities and counties have raised the assessments over the last five years. The assessments currently generally correspond to current appraised values. This is not good news for many property owners, who have lost their equity in their home. In the majority of real estate markets, foreclosures and short sales are often sold in the vicinity of the property that is listed, and appraisers have to make use of comparable sales when estimation of the value of a home. Sellers shouldn't be too surprised when an agent requests them to appraise their property at a lower price than current assessed values. It is required if there are numerous distressed or foreclosed homes in their vicinity and homeowners are selling their homes at a lower price than the market due to necessity. If I request a home seller to lower his or her price and he or she is likely to take it personally. This is similar to when I told the seller his or her children are ugly and the grandchildren will look ugly, too. Sellers of homes: it's time to do a reality check. Don't take the advice to reduce the price of a house personally! I can tell when a home is priced properly as there's always a peak in interest as measured by an increase in showings and inquiries. If a property has been listed for three months or more, and it has not been sold, it is probably overpriced. Selling a House in a convenient or popular Locality Do not try to improve your home for the neighborhood. Sellers of homes must be aware of this fundamental rule in real estate: your home is not required to be the largest or the best, but it's certainly beneficial to be around the most prestigious and largest. If the property is located close to a metropolis, or located in an area with a high-end subdivision, buyers are more likely to desire to buy it. The most desirable locations should be included in the price. If a house is situated 25 minutes away from the town and it takes a half hour to go to the store and back, the time a home spends on the market will likely be much longer. Sellers: Take an objective Check on the Condition of the Home and make changes The first impression that a prospective buyer receives about a home is one that lasts. Landscaping does not cost much and is worth the cost for those selling your home. Curb appeal is a way to get buyers to get out of the car and into the house. In the garden, plant flowers. Place a wreath on the door. If a home has old orange shag carpet , and green laminate countertops, this will be evident in the price of the house. Make sure you invest some money in improving the property. If a buyer is committed to closing a home sale, he or will want the home to stand out above the rest. Sellers are now expecting that they will be compensated for upgrades and improvements. In this market, things are different. Be aware that buyers can afford to be selective. Make the necessary improvements to the property to draw buyers and to assist in making the home sell quicker. But , do not think that these improvements will increase the cost of a house. The more dated a home is the longer it's on the market. A buyer can just as quickly purchase a bank owned property that requires improvement for a less expensive price. This is a cost-driven market. Make your property easier to sell by making the necessary improvements before it is put to market. Where can Home Buyers and Sellers Meet? There are excellent houses available on the market, as well as some bargains to be had right now. If both parties are willing to negotiate and are reasonable the chances are they'll eventually get to the final table. A vacant home with mortgage payments, taxes and utility bills drain each month's earnings and financial reserves. People who have had their property listed for sale for some time should seriously consider dropping the price between $5,000 and $10,000 to finalize an offer, instead of losing money each month. What to Expect When selling your home in today's Market for Estate Market... Since down payments are now required, home buyers will typically request closing costs to cover with the help of the seller. If the seller is not in a position of covering all closing costs I suggest offering some kind of help. If the property is sold as is, and the homeowner is not planning on making any work, then be ready to negotiate the price.