The Do’s and Don’ts of Selling In A Recession

Whether we like it or not, we are in a recession. Not just Saskatoon or Canada, the entire globe is feeling this. That means – real estate will vastly be affected. This can be a challenging time financially.

With that said, selling your home for asking price is still feasible. There are just some things that have to be completed to make this occur. Do you want to shorten the sales process of your home in a downturn? Follow these 3 tips and avoid these 3 DON’TS:


1) Pick A Top Realtor

The secret to every sale is great marketing and putting the best selling tactics to work. If you want to sell your home in a downturn this is not the time to haggle over a few percentage points on commissions. It’s true in life, ” You get what you pay for,” so, hire the best realtor you know of and let them do their job. This includes taking their advice on staging, pricing and marketing.

A great realtor who knows the city, the community and the area your home is located in, is not only going to have comps but they will also be able to tell you what you can get realistically. Even if your neighbours house sold 6 months ago for $30,000K more – the market may have changed. You may need to ask for less to move your home in 30 days or less.

Pricing a home too high and then having to reduce, reduce and reduce is never good for a home. It starts collecting a stigma that something is wrong and people will continue to low ball you. So, pricing is going to be paramount. If your realtor is suggesting a price, it’s wise to heed their advice. Painful as it may be, start with a lower (yet reasonable) offer.


2) Create Curb Appeal and a Wow Factor

Make your house shine inside and out. This includes:

  • A pristine yard. No one wants to buy a home they see a lot of “work” in.
  • A decluttered home. A messy home is a busy home and during a downturn there will be a lot of houses on the market (a buyers market) so make your home memorable in a great way!
  • An improved home. New paint – especially in well worn areas. Professional cleaning – if there were pets or kids. A new kitchen or bathroom – assuming this is part of a budget and you will recoup your costs. Think about a layer of lipstick and not a thorough renovation.
  • A welcoming feeling. Before people enter the home make it smell like the season. If it’s winter make apple cider or fresh cookies. If it’s summer make it smell like clean outdoor air – fresh and light.


3) Be Flexible:

It’s great to have a strategy in place and it’s good to get excited about a new home, but you must remain flexible in the selling process during a downturn. Have a backup plan if the market you are in is seriously distressed.

Be open to offers and do not take offence to one’s in which you perceive are “low balls”. This is not personal – selling a home is an emotional processes as it is near and dear to your heart but approaching a sale with logic and numbers will leave you better off.

If a qualified buyer comes in with a reasonable offer, prepare yourself to accept it. This offer might be below your original asking price but you will want to consider:

  • Carrying costs
  • Keeping your home on the market for 30, 60 or 90+ days
  • Not qualifying for your next home if interest rates increase
  • If the market keeps digressing, how much more will you lose
  • What you can add to the offer to increase profit margins

If none of this is working for you consider renting out your home (assuming you can afford it). If the margins are there – become a landlord temporarily and wait until the market turns to sell your home. You might actually make a profit and decide to keep renting out the home when the market picks up.




Avoid These Three Things When Selling Your Home In A Downturn:


1) Don’t Let Emotions Get The Best Of You

Set your bottom line and BE HONEST with yourself. Negotiate a price that is the lowest you can go. Now that you know what number that is, you can move forward knowing what is truly acceptable and what is not. With that said, keep an open mind and do not get married to one idea/price. If the difference is a matter of a few dollars weigh the pros and cons. Always remember – you know what your home is worth to you but it’s really only worth what someone is willing to pay.


2) Don’t Sell If You Don’t Have To

This is a question we ask a lot of sellers in a downturn, “Are You sure you NEED to move?” Only you can answer that question. There are so many things to think about before you sell in a downturn:

  • Do you need a bigger home?
  • Do you need to move into that new neighbourhood for work or is the extra 5/10/15 minute commute fine for now?
  • If you are close to retirement or close to having an empty nest (and needing to support college/university) would the money best best spent elsewhere?
  • Is this what you really need or is this a case of keeping up with Jones’s

If you are honest with yourself and if you are looking at the bigger picture – you might evaluate selling your home.

If you are moving cities, divorcing, downsizing, etc these need not apply to you.


3) Don’t “Wait and See”

If you know you NEED to move, do the above three things and expect the best, but plan for the worst case scenario. As soon as things start to look a little bit better in the market a flood of new homes will hit the market. If your place has not already sold or you have been sitting on the fence you might need to re-list and you may have a lot more competition on the market.

If you are ready to sell your home, put it on the market!


As always, if you need help buying or selling your home do not hesitate to contact us. We know what it takes to list and sell homes in a downturn. We were able to sell the most expensive home ever sold in Evergreen for top dollar in a downturn. We know this market and we would love to help you.


Gregg Bamford and Ryan Bamford




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