Guide to Selling Your Home in a Down Market

The real estate market is down everywhere, according to the media and National Association of Realtors. But what happens if you haveto sell your house? Perhaps you are moving for job related reasons, or just can no longer afford the home you have. Maybe there was a divorce or other serious reason you need to sell your house.

Here are some suggestions to make your house more marketable, and get it sold in today’s sluggish real estate market.

1. Make your house stand out from the others.

You may have to put more elbow grease into getting your home sold in a down market than you would in a thriving real estate market. Make sure your house looks the BEST from the road compared to other homes in your area and price range. Curb appeal is crucial as many homebuyers find their houses on the internet and drive by them before deciding on going in to see them.

2. Stage your Home.

Get rid of ALL clutter and all personal affects throughout your home. This includes photographs, trophies, ribbons, etc. Stage your home to look like a model house. It may seem cold to you, but it will help buyer’s envision themselves in your home.

3. Keep your home clean, clean, clean!

If a home is not very clean, a potential buyer is given the impression that the home is hard to maintain, and will turn them off immediately. Even if you have to hire help, do it! It will pay off with a quicker sale! Also, make sure there are no dirty dishes, laundry or any items laying around when a showing appointment is made.

4. Offer an incentive.

If you offer to give a Realtor selling bonus, you will have more Realtors pushing your house over others. Or, you can offer a bonus to a buyer, such as paying their closing costs, offering them your lawnmower, etc.

5. Hire a Professional Realtor/Broker.

Now really isn’t the time to sell on your own. 98% of buyers are working with a licensed Realtor. Yet other buyers are buying homes from relatives. If you go at it alone, you are likely to be just sitting around and waiting. Find someone with experience and success in your area. Ask around for referrals. Drive around your area and see whose name you see on signs. Consider interviewing a couple different agents.

6. Keep your home smelling “homey”.

Bake some cookies or fresh bread before a showing. If your home has that “homey” aroma, buyers can see themselves comfortably living there. Scented candles may also be a good choice if you are unable to bake beforehand.

7. Take great photographs.

With most buyers beginning their search on the Internet, excellent photo’s are a must. Make sure rooms are clean, and take as many photo’s as you can. Take exterior shots from several angles. A night shot is also very impressive. Once it is dark, turn on all lights in your home and take an exterior photograph. The result is stunning.

It still may take a little longer than it would have a few years ago, but you can sell your home in a down market. Remember to price strategically as well. If your home is overpriced, it will sit on the market with little to no action. Sometimes we must take a dose of reality in realizing what our homes are really worth. Get a few opinions from licensed brokers and Realtors.

As long as you are prepared to do the work, and are being reasonable, you can and will sell your home. Good luck!

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