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Top 10 ways to sell a Home in a Slow Market

Sell Your Home

Sell Your Home

It isn’t a secret that the value of homes has been on the decline across America. Selling at a good price is currently tricky but if you and your agent are aggressive and able to communicate the best qualities of your home to potential buyers, you might just see top dollar.

  • Keep your starting asking price reasonable. Obviously the asking price is the single most important reason that a property does not sell. In this buyer’s market, it is a mistake to set a high price and assume that you can lower it later, if necessary, in negotiations. Instead, price your home conservatively by looking at similar houses currently on the market. Your agent should and usually does provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis).
  • List your house lower then market. Pricing your home as a slight bargain ensures that as many potential buyers as possible will walk through your door. This is crucial at times like these when home sellers outnumber buyers.
  • Keep on eye on your neighbors. Recheck the asking price of comparable listings every two to four weeks if your home has not sold. If local real estate prices are falling fast, you might have to lower your price to remain competitive.
  • Get an inspection. Homes that need a lot of fixing up tend to be ignored in slow real estate markets because buyers can find good deals without breaking out their tools. A home that’s in good working order will always sell faster than one that needs pricey repairs. Keep in mind that it’s always cheaper and faster to make your own repairs rather than have a buyer drag out the negotiating process to accommodate any necessary work. You’ll also avoid any nasty last-minute surprises that could derail a deal should the buyer’s inspector discover anything that needs replacing.
  • Curb appeal is very important. Homebuyers have so many options that if a property doesn’t look attractive from the street, they will drive past it without even stopping. Putting on a fresh coat of paint both on the inside and outside of a home can make a dramatic difference in its appearance, and is fairly inexpensive and easily accomplished by most homeowners themselves. Keeping the landscape trimmed, the kids toys off the lawn, even your car in the drive way washed can make a big impact.
  • Freshen up inside. Anything that improves the appearance of the home would usually add value. A fresh coat of paint and new carpet or refinished wood floors can make a big difference. It is extremely difficult to sell homes that reek of cigarette smoke or pet and cooking odors.
  • Describe your home with passion. Rather than writing “kitchen,” you or the agent should write, “Updated kitchen with beautiful view of private pond.” French doors, mosaic tile or a gated entry sets your home apart from others in the area. If you feel your agent isn’t marketing your home in this way, make it a point to bring it up to him/her.
  • Provide incentives to buyers. Help buyers with closing costs. Cash-poor buyers might have trouble paying up-front mortgage expenses. Offer to pay a portion of these costs, and buyers have a reason to choose your home.
  • Provide incentives to agents. You also can offer real estate agents a bonus, which often is an extra 1% to 3% of the purchase price, on top of their usual commission, at closing if they find you a buyer. Remember if you do go this route to only mention the bonus in the MLS listing.
  • Be a reasonable negotiator. If a potential buyer’s first offer is reasonable, consider accepting it, rather than making a higher counteroffer. Buyers have so many homes to choose from today that they sometimes move on to other properties

If your home is not attracting many showings, the price is probably the problem. If it is attracting showings but not offers, the home itself is most likely to blame. It may sound like a complicated process, but if you do your homework, it will be worth it in the long run. Just remember that it’s always a good idea to enlist the services of a trained real estate professional when selling or buying a home. Remember to refer back to to keep you up to date and informed so you can work better with your real estate professional.

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2 comments to Top 10 ways to sell a Home in a Slow Market

  • Great list of ideas, thanks for sharing. Price & condition seem to be the key in the Charleston SC market. Properties that are priced correctly from the start are getting still getting snapped up quickly. You only get one chance to make a first impression so get your property ready before you list - do a pre-inspection, repaint, reduce your clutter first. I think Gary Keller (Shift) said something along the line of …… It is easy to take a listing and have a home “on the market” the key is to price the property correctly and have it “in the market”.

  • Great list. It’s all about price and terms. Either offer a lower price or offer terms to make it easier for the buyer.

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