Ask anyone who has tried to sell a home lately and they will tell you how challenging the current market environment is. With so many unsold homes sitting on the market prices have collapsed, in some cases quite severely. Homes that would once have sparked impromptu bidding wars now attract no buyers and few prospects, and many would be home sellers have simply given up and decided to stay put for awhile.
Fortunately there are some steps homeowners can take to increase the chances that their homes will sell quickly – and for a good price. The good news is that there is some reason for optimism – many economists feel that the economy has finally hit bottom and will begin to turn around later this year. How the housing market reacts to the turnaround is yet to be seen, but it does provide a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal housing market.
Beyond the broader economic outlook there are some positive steps homeowners can take to enhance the value of their homes to potential buyers. And make no mistake about it – the current real estate market is all about value. After so many years in a seller’s market, buyers are now in the driver’s seat – and they know it. In order to succeed in this market you will need to provide a great value to potential customers.
Price it Right the First Time
Those who need to sell a home today need to do a reality check first. The value that the home held a few years ago is no longer relevant in today’s market. In order to sell your home you will need to price it for today’s much softer real estate market.
Your real estate agent can help you set a realistic price by looking at a number of factors such as comparable sales. It is important to set a price that is neither too low nor too high – pricing the home right the first time is essential in such a challenging market. Pricing the home too high can turn off would be buyers, and those buyers may not be back even if you lower the price later on.
Curb Appeal – More Essential Than Ever Before
Curb appeal has always been an important part of selling a home, but how your home looks from the road is more essential now than ever before. There are only so many qualified buyers out there right now, and it is important that the home looks great as they drive by.
Enhancing curb appeal does not have to be expensive. In fact inexpensive touches like painting the front door and planting a new flower bed can do wonders for the look and feel of the home. If you are unsure of your own curb appeal try looking at your home with the eyes of a buyer. Take a leisurely drive past your home and look with a critical eye. Is the lawn well manicured, or is it in dire need of mowing? Are the flower beds colorful and weed free? Does the home look appealing? The answers to these questions will tell you where to place your focus.
Don’t Go It Alone
With housing prices so depressed it can be tempting to try to save money by selling your home on your own, but that could be a big mistake. In a challenging market it is even more important to have the help of a professional at your side. Real estate agents know the local market, and they can help you price your home appropriately and help it sell faster.
There is no doubt that selling a home in today’s market is a challenge, but with a little perseverance, a little knowledge and some luck it is still possible to get that home sold for a fair price. The tips listed above can help you navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the current housing market.