Gig Harbor Homes

Selling Your Home In A Slow Market

From Forbes Magazine.

Learn Your Market
One of the most important things you can do to get your house sold is to learn your market, the value of your property and your competition. Most sellers operate in the dark, simply offering the property for the price they want, without regard to what other homes have sold for and are currently selling for. Undervaluing or overpricing your home can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Position Yourself in the Right Price Range
Buyers search by price range, such as between $200,000 and $225,000. Make sure your property is properly positioned so that it is the best value within a standard price range. For example, pricing it at $230,000 could miss the people looking for a bargain on a home in the $200,000 to $225,000 range.

Be Prepared
Delay on the seller’s part is one reason that deals often fall apart. Before you list your home, have information readily available about your schools, taxes, utilities, any neighborhood covenants and information about liens that have to be released prior to closing.

Stage It
Whether you’re selling your principal residence or a fixer-upper, it should be clean and presentable. It must make a strong, positive impression. Staging a house is the cheapest way to make a house look different from your competition so it becomes the most memorable one that the buyer saw.

A Good Flier
Surveys show that people who drive by your house are more likely to grab a flier than to call the number on the “For Sale” sign. If you want to get as many people interested as possible, you must have a good flier in front of the house. Make sure the flier has great photos of the property from all angles, inside and out, as well as a link to a Web site where people can take a “virtual tour.”

Market to People Who Are Likely Buyers
In addition to placing an ad in the newspaper and using the multiple listing service, you should advertise to people who are already in the market for a house. For example, have your real estate agent pull a list of people who have just listed their own house within a five mile radius of your home. People are likely to want to stay within the same school district if they have kids.

Open Houses
An open house should be held every weekend for the first three weeks your house is listed for sale. Have a drawing for a door prize so that you can gather all of the names of the people who attend for follow up.

Offer Terms
Cash buyers are becoming harder to find in a market where financing is tougher to get. Offer creative financing terms to attract more buyers.

Private Auction
You can do a private reserve auction to sell your property to the highest bidder. If your reserve price is not met, you are not obligated to sell. If nothing else, it will bring a lot of people through your house during the open house period.

The First Offer Rule
If you get an offer within the first few weeks, the tendency is for sellers to try and hold out for a better offer. This is generally a mistake. The biggest fish usually bite first, so keep in mind that your first offer will often be your best.

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