It’s not that easy to offload your house in little time in the current buyer’s market, without having to agree to some pretty significant sacrifices on your end of the deal. However, it’s not impossible to sell your home within a reasonable time frame, and at a price that doesn’t damage your finances, if you are aware of some of the tried-and-true techniques to increasing the appeal of your home and aggressively attracting prospective buyers.Given that sellers of average homes are a dime a dozen today—current estimates state that it will take till 2010 roughly for the volume of homes for sale to be absorbed by the market—it’s imperative to implement some of the following ideas in order to get your house the right kinds of offers now, as opposed to way on down the line when the mere time that it has languished on the market will in and of itself depreciate the home’s value.
Giving Your Home “Curb Value”
There is one moment that will define whether or not a buyer is interested, and that is when they pull up to the curb in front of your house. If what they see from the street (always assuming your home is visible from the street; if not, whatever the frontal view is like) is not to their liking, they may not even bother getting out of the car to come inside for a more thorough look. Your home’s facade needs to be as impeccable as possible, which means:
- Bushes and hedges neatly trimmed and other vegetation under control.
- Having a decent paint job done if there is cracking or chipping currently.
- Cleaning the driveway and sidewalks with a power-cleaner.
- Making the view through any window a decent one. As everyone knows, first impressions mean everything..and you only get one chance to make them!
Pricing Your Home Reasonably
The unfortunate reality is that selling your home in a recession will mean you’ll need to ask a price that is in tune with the economic reality surrounding you. Though some communities are actually still experiencing growth in their local real estate market, in most parts of the country it is declining. Hence, you won’t be able to ask for the same price today as compared with three years ago.
- Unreasonable prices can increase the time your home spends on the market, as well as make you seem like a greedy seller, neither of which will do you any good.
- In fact, putting a price on your home that is below your own expectations can possibly trigger a good round of bidding, which may result in the price being driven back up to the level you’re hoping for.
- Furthermore, studies have shown that rounding your price to the nearest $5,000 increment is more effective for selling, so instead of $267,900 make it $265,000 or $270,000.
- Though it is intimidating for most people, not contracting the services of a real estate agency will allow you to fix a price below local market rates, and improve your chances of a successful, prompt resolution to your situation.
- Selling your own home puts you in control, and that is really what you need in these tough financial times—and consider that you won’t have to be paying anybody a commission. There are generic real estate contracts for every state in the Union, which can be found at USLegalForms.
Putting the Cherry on the Top
With the market as jammed as it is, you want to stand out from all the other sellers. Accomplish this by putting in some extra incentives: there are many strategies, with some people including free electronics (like huge HD TVs, for example), or maybe a jungle-gym in the backyard, or some form of material gift. Nonetheless, a plain old promise of cash payment toward certain costs that the buyer may incur is the most effective sweetener.
Consider paying for the first mortgage payment, paying for repairs to plumbing and wiring that are necessary in the first 6 months; or better yet, helping the buyer with closing costs. This is a good strategy to avoid lowering your asking price too much. A buyer will probably have the credit to manage a difference of a few thousand in the price, but may not have the cash to put toward the closing costs, which include the title search and the appraisal fee. Whatever particular expense you choose to help out with, stick to your commitment, and make sure it’s not beyond your means.
Staging Your Home
Contracting the services of a professional home stager, or, if you consider yourself to be savvy enough, staging your home on your own, can entice prospective buyers in a way that would never happen if your personal decorations and adornments were all over the place. The idea with home staging is removing the emphasis from your personal tastes, and making the house look like a sample home, which is easier for the buyer to imagine themselves in. Bizarre lampshades and very personal photos on every wall will have the effect of unconsciously turning off prospects.
Professional home stagers can be a bit pricey, so these days a lot of people may end up staging their homes on their own. Nonetheless, the $500-3000 that you could possibly pay for a home stager may make the difference when it comes to landing the sale; check out HomeStagingResource to see a listing of professional home stagers and find out more about this subject.
Optimizing Your MLS Listing
Most buyers start their search for a new home on the web these days, and the Multiple Service Listing’s website is just about the most popular site for doing so. If you have your house listed there—which you definitely should—make sure to proofread your listing and emphasize all the best parts of your home in it; don’t post some drab, run of the mill description of your home.Make sure your photos are of good quality, and are recent. Don’t have a photo from a different season than the one we are currently in, as this is a clue that your home has been on the market for longer than what most buyers would like to know. Also, be sure to include photos of the most attractive, appealing parts of your home: if you’ve got a beautiful garden, an elaborate front door, a spectacular hill-top view, etc., highlight these aspects with a great photo.
Hopefully these home selling tips for a buyer’s market are useful to you, the seller. Remember to be flexible and be ready to sacrifice smaller details to square away the larger, more important aspects of a home sale.