How do I sell my home in today’s real estate market?
Select the right real estate broker. Look for agents who are listing, marketing and selling, even in this slower market. Ask them to provide a listing presentation and written marketing plan spelling out all the steps that will be initiated in selling the home. Visit some open houses to see how the broker handles the listing. Was the broker engaging in meeting people? Did the broker point out the features that present the home to its best advantage? Did the broker follow up with visitors afterward?
Have a pre-building inspection performed. Hire a reputable building inspector to do an inspection on the property to determine any substantial areas of problems or repairs that would be evident to any potential buyer. After reviewing the areas that need attention with the inspector, make the necessary repairs or replacements needed. Doing so will eliminate some of the renegotiations that occur after the potential buyer does an inspection. Typically it will cost the seller less money to make the needed repairs himself rather than have the buyer overestimate the cost of these items.
Understand the local market. Become knowledgeable about recent sales prices and the negotiations that occurred behind the scenes. Two homes could have sold at the same price but one buyer was credited many thousands of dollars for replacing a roof, furnace, etc. Pricing the house under the market is crucial because the competition is serious. Rely on a knowledgeable broker who has insight in these transactions.
Offer incentives to the buyer. An effective way to make your house stand out is to offer financing incentives. Offer to discount or buy down the buyer’s new mortgage by one, two or three points off the mortgage rate that the buyer is paying. This can be done for a limited term of one, two or three years and is a way to appeal to buyers. Another incentive is to pay some of the buyer's closing costs such as the appraisal fee, title search or attorney’s fees. If you are selling a condo, offer to pay the monthly common charges for a fixed period of time. Rather than lowering the sales price repeatedly, these incentives are effective and in many cases help the seller more than a price reduction while appealing to buyers who need cash to close.
Offer a home warranty to the new buyer. A home warranty offers protection for appliances and mechanical systems against surprise repairs during the first year. Many warranties cover the items while the property is listed and then extend to the new buyer upon the sale of the home. The cost of a basic home warranty plan that covers the seller and buyer is $495.
Pay attention to the exterior of the home. Curb appeal plays an important role in getting buyers through the door. The first impression counts because if the buyer sees the property as overgrown, stark or in disrepair, he forms an opinion based and is likely not to get out of the car.
Consider staging the interior of the home. A professional stager can enhance the market appeal of the home by making suggestions on placing furniture, removing excess items, etc. Eliminating clutter is key for allowing prospective buyers to visualize their personal belongings in the space and living in the home. And lastly, clean, clean and clean some more.
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