Buyer's season has really begun here in Dowtown St Louis. Lofts are getting scooped up, buyer's are enamored, and new residents are heading in. The only drag is that prices are still more "affordable" than sellers would like.
One observation I've made in the past few years is that many sellers, due to financial or other reasons, are cutting corners in the sales process. Because of expected losses or other scenarios, some lofts aren't left in showing condition. They aren't staged, touched up or re-painted, have anchors left in drywall, and have belongings left out. Some of the units are rented, and the tenants leave the unit in horrible shape too.
The bottom line, is that just because the market isn't as lucrative for sellers, all the same rules apply.
In order to attract and capture the buyer, a seller MUST consider what they are competing against and try to put their best foot forward. Homes that aren't prepared for showings often times leave the buyer in a position where they are examining walls and looking for defects, as opposed to an inviting, well staged home where prospective buyers are able to feel comfortable and make that buying decision.
A very good article on preparing your home is here. Also, a Realtor should be a good reference as well.
As we get ready for a brisk spring season in Downtown, those truly wanting to sell have to remember that the buyer is still in charge.