Between record foreclosures, job losses, and an economy in shambles, it goes without saying that the real estate market is a vicious place for folks trying to sell. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to take a wicked gut-punch to sell your home, but it will take some special effort to make your home more appealing than the others on your block.
- Make it pretty. Real pretty. Forget about listing your home as a fixer-upper unless you want to give it away. Take care of every major issue and all the minor ones as well, because the house for sale down the street is exercising the same due diligence. That goes for outside the home as well as inside.
- Have it professionally inspected. Most buyers will pay for their own inspection anyway, but knowing ahead of time what inspectors might find will give you a chance to address any issues before they become a problem.
- Don’t go it alone. Having your home listed with a professional agent is almost a necessity in this market. Aside from the added exposure, agents offer a level of expertise that appeals to many buyers.
- Offer incentives to buyers as well as agents. Offering to cover closing costs or providing a warranty on the home can go a long way in enticing buyers. And throwing in extras to your agent, like a paid three-day weekend at a resort or a commission bonus will have them working harder to not just sell a house, but to sell YOUR house.
- Know the market and be realistic on price. If you’re priced well above other homes in your neighborhood, nobody will give you the time of day. Pretend you’re a buyer, go to some open houses, and check out the competition. See what they’re selling for, see what they’re offering, and then price your home accordingly.