You wouldn’t think so given all the snow and bitter cold but it is time for sellers in Illinois to get ready; the spring housing market is coming.

And there’s good reason to believe more buyers will be looking in 2011.

Buyers can afford more home with low mortgage interest rates and lower home prices. There’s a lot of pent-up demand from buyers who put their plans for a bigger home or relocating on hold during the recession. Plus any uptick in mortgage rates could spur action earlier in the year as buyers try to grab the lower rates for their move while they last.

Setting the right price remains one of the most important issues for sellers in this market. REALTORS® know if you want to sell, the price must be compelling and based on current market conditions in the local area, which vary widely from one neighborhood to the next.

Here are several tips from Illinois REALTORS® for managing the seller expectations in this buyer’s market, from the January Illinois REALTOR® Magazine.

  • Educate your sellers on the fine points of the current market, including how many homes are listed for sale, how long they’ve been on the market, how many price reductions they’ve experienced, and other valuable pieces of information.
  • Highlight the home’s value and the strategies that you will use to get it sold.
  • During the listing period, stay in close contact (via phone,e-mail, mail and in person) with the sellers, letting them know about any activity that’s taken place (or, the lack thereof) and feedback you’re hearing from buyers and agents.
  • Know the markets that you’re working in. If someone says “Well, this guy just got $675,000 for his home” and you know that the price was more like $575,000, be able to recite the accurate figures off the top of your head.
  • If the home doesn’t sell within the expected time frame, consider upping its curb appeal and/or staging the interior to make it more appealing. Oftentimes a seller will get a significant return on investment for taking steps to make the home more attractive on the inside and out.
  • When pricing,don’t just look at closed sales. Instead, look at the current competition on the market. For an effective reality check, invite the seller to visit those other homes by driving by, or even going inside.