Biggest Challenges Sellers Will Face As We Head Into 2020

Looking to sell your home in 2020? You’re in luck—we’re still in a seller’s market. 

But that doesn't mean there won’t be certain challenges to selling that you’ll need to take into account. From pricing, to repairs, to comps, here are a few of the challenges to consider as you list your house this year. 

The biggest challenge sellers face is a tendency to price high. 

One of the biggest challenges sellers face at all times—not just this year—is the tendency to overprice their home. 

According to the HomeLight Q4 2019 Top Agent Insights Survey, a tendency to overprice is the single biggest challenge agents saw with their sellers in 2019. This tendency can be especially present in a seller’s market, when homes are often getting multiple bids and lasting only days or a couple of weeks on the market. 

However, while pricing high and expecting to come down may seem like a smart strategy, it’s actually more likely to backfire. 

First of all, you’ll miss out on lots of potential buyers for whom your home is priced out of budget—even though its actual value is within their budget. 

Second, you’ll scare off other potential buyers by portraying yourself as an unreasonable seller. 

Finally, if you continually have to drop your price, leading to more days on market, potential buyers may come away with the idea that there’s something wrong with your home. 

Buyers are requesting more repairs than in the past.

Another challenge real estate agents are seeing is an increase in repair requests from buyers. 

Whether for small issues like spots of wood rot, or large issues like mold or roof repairs, buyers are tending to request that sellers do more work on their homes before closing. 

One way to get ahead of this is to do as many repairs as possible before listing your home—especially if they’re major or especially visible issues. By being proactive, you’ll give yourself a smoother path to closing with fewer potential delays or opportunities to derail the sale. 

Another good tactic is to be open to offering buyers a credit for repairs they request. This not only saves you the time and hassle of arranging to have them done, but it also allows the buyers to choose the contractor or service provider they prefer. 

As the weather warms, sellers will need to focus on curb appeal and springtime maintenance. 

Sellers who are planning to list their home in 2020 will need to prepare with their eyes toward spring. That means looking not only at the interior repairs and improvements, but also focusing on curb appeal. 

Planting flowers, maintaining the yard, and addressing any external repairs, like siding, roofing, and paint, are where sellers should focus their energies as 2020 continues. 

It’s important to remember that it won’t be a seller’s market forever. If you put the time and attention into your home now, and price it correctly, you’ll have a home that a buyer will snatch up in no time—no matter what the market does


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