January 2008 e-Newsletter

Selling Your Home in a Slumping Market

In a sluggish real estate market, what do you do when you need to sell? You want top dollar, you may also need to sell in a hurry -- especially if moving day is right around the corner. In a tight housing market, remember that you are competing with all of the other homes for sale in your neighborhood. The key to success is to make your home and the deal itself more attractive than what the competition is offering without giving away too much. If you find yourself having to sell into a slow market, here are some tips to help you make your home more attractive and sweeten the deal to generate more interest in your home: · Price it to the market, don't be greedy. Most sellers tend to set the price too high, thinking their home is worth more than it really is. Check the sales prices of comparable homes that recently sold and the asking prices of comparable homes that are currently for sale in your neighborhood.

  • Use a seasoned Realtor. Your Realtor has already experienced price wars in the housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors®, a home sells on average for 16-percent more when the seller uses as certified Realtor.
  • Take care of all repairs so lookers won't have an excuse not to buy. Consider updating kitchen, replacing worn carpets and neutralizing the walls throughout your home.
  • Have your home professionally staged. A professional stager can transform an empty or overly cluttered house into a warm and welcoming home.
  • Don't move out before it sells, or if you have to move out, make sure you leave the home staged, so it looks lived-in. Vacant houses feel more like uninhabited caves than homes.
  • Be willing to pay some closing costs for the purchaser. A slow market is usually that way due to a slow economy. Buyers are strapped for cash and may need you to help in some way with the financing.
  • Give your Realtor copies of all improvements to the home and any guarantees for anything like a new roof, furnace, or hot water tank.
  • Keep your home in ready-to-show condition at all times. Do not require a 24-hour notice.
  • Focus on curb appeal and making a good first impression. You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • Be open to negotiating on things like leaving furniture or appliances behind.

You can successfully sell a home in a declining market, and even profit from the sale, if you set realistic goals and work a little harder at it than your competitors so that your home stands out and will be “the next home sold”.

Written by Ralph Roberts

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