Anyone who’s ever purchased or sold
property knows the real estate industry is a fickle one. Changing
demographic makeups, economic conditions, interest rates and other
factors play a role in how “good” the market is for a buyer or seller,
and in a few short years, prices in any given area can dramatically

Despite the ebbs and flows of local and national real estate markets,
there are certain things about the homebuying and selling process that
remain constant. We asked a panel of Forbes Real Estate Council members
to share their evergreen tips for prospective buyers and sellers that
hold true regardless of market conditions. Here is what they had to say:

Garratt Hasenstab | Forbes Real Estate Council All photos courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Always Conduct Thorough Research On The Current Market 

Although real estate values fluctuate due to local supply/demand
dynamics and broader national economic considerations, it’s important to
remember that properties always sell for no more or less than what the
market will bear at that time. Whether buying or selling, do your
research, plot your data points, use a variety of resources so that
you’re confident in your list or offer price. – Garratt Hasenstab, The Mountain Life Companies™


2. Don’t Reject Low-Priced Offers Without Negotiating 

Selling your home can feel like giving up something you love, so a
low-priced offer can leave sellers feeling insulted. Homebuyers base
their offer price largely on their own affordability, but will consider
raising it if the location is just right or if there is value in
renovations already done. Stay open to negotiations and working with the
buyer rather than turning down a low-priced offer. – Beatrice de Jong, Open Listings (YC W15)

3. Buy Whenever You Can 

There’s never a wrong time to buy. There is only a wrong time to
sell. If you look at real estate trends over the last century, prices go
up and down and we have booms and busts. The buyers who win are the
ones willing to ride the wave, see a purchase through the cycle. Buy
when you can, and hold till the sale is profitable. – Courtney Poulos, ACME Real Estate

4. Get Into The Rental Market Where It Makes Sense 

People will need shelter for the rest of their lives. With the life
expectancy what it is here in the in the U.S., that’s a lot of rent to
be paid. Buy what you need now and do it in an area where the population
is on a rising and sustainable course. – Michael J. Polk, Polk Properties

5. Factor In The Fees 

In real estate, there are middlemen and a lot of them — the escrow
company, the title company, the brokers, the lender, etc. Each one of
them is taking a drop from the well. While these fees will all likely go
down, they aren’t ever going away and buyers and sellers need to accept
that. – Ridaa Murad, BREAKFORM | RE

6. Buy A Home To Secure Personal Rent Control 

Although the real estate market fluctuates over time, there’s one
thing would-be first-time homeowners often overlook. Yes, there are tax
advantages. Yes, you paint the walls any color you want. Yes, you build
financial equity. But you also have a built-in rent control. With a
fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know what your house payment will be for the
next 30 years — not so when you’re a renter. – Eileen Lacerte, Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties

7. Always Invest Based On Location 

Regardless of the interest rate or transaction environment, good
locations with strong demand and access to transportation infrastructure
will continue to outperform in the long run. Location is certainly the
evergreen factor telling you where to invest. Interest rates and
transaction volumes are better indicators of when to invest. – Marc Rutzen, Enodo Inc

8. Find Trustworthy Partners In The Real Estate Process 

In an industry that is heavily commission-based, it is very important
to find and work with trustworthy and genuine individuals who will have
your best interest at heart over their own pocket. – Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty

9. Keep Your Home’s Condition Pristine If You’re Looking To Sell

Well-maintained houses always sell faster, even in a slow real estate
market. Buyers appreciate houses that look move-in ready and are
updated versus those that need a lot of work. In a hot real estate
market, most houses sell quickly. But during a cooler market period,
buyers can get very picky, so it will be the nicer ones that continue to
sell. – Jeremy Brandt, We Buy Houses®

10. Be Selective And Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away 

The old real estate adage is true: You make your money when you buy,
not when you sell. By being selective about your real estate purchases
and using larger amounts of cash in the transactions, you insulate
yourself from the ebbs and flows of the market. Deals don’t always work,
so do not be afraid to step away. Sometimes the best investment to
protect principal is no investment at all. – Blake Plumley, Capital Pursuits LLC

11. Approach Negotiations From A Collaborative, Not Competitive, Standpoint 

It’s a mistake to go into real estate negotiations thinking that the
other side is your adversary and to be fixated on a specific price. The
goal should always be working together to come to an agreement that
satisfies both parties. Digging in your heals can sabotage a
negotiation. Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. What’s a
win-win for everyone? – Brad Le, Climb Real Estate

12. Find An Experienced Local Real Estate Agent 

The internet has changed real estate forever. Home sellers and buyers
can get more information about real estate than ever. But what they
can’t get online and can only get from a local real estate agent, is
that insider knowledge. That local “go-to” agent who is a neighborhood
expert knows things about the homes and the community you just can’t
Google. Their value will never change. – Lane Hornung, zavvie

13. Remember That A Home’s True Value Is Determined By The Buyer 

No matter what the market conditions are, one aspect always remains
the same — the true market value of a home is only equal to what a buyer
is willing to pay. Just because a seller believes their home is worth a
certain amount of money, it does not mean that the ask will be equal to
what a buyer believes to be an appropriate “bid” price. – Matt Pettinelli, CapGrow Partners LLC


Original Forbes article can be found here: