For the vast majority of potential homeowners, housing prices are still too steep to consider buying. Due to the tightened credit requirements and high unemployment rates, the US economy is still in recovery mode. All of these factors have led to a housing market with numerous houses for sale and too few buyers available to purchase them. This has given current buyers a great deal of leverage with their housing purchases.
Times have changed and it doesn’t appear to be switching to a seller’s market anytime soon. So, how do sellers make their houses stand out during these slow times? The answer is to offer buyers something they can’t find anywhere else. For instance, you should:
Find the Right Agent
Finding the right agent is critical. While any agent can list a house, not every agent is competent enough to sell while the market is slow. A good agent will provide advice and support during crucial periods. Interview several agents and hire the agent who has the best track record, and who is available to provide appropriate service.
Offer Buyers Competitive Pricing
Pricing is critical when the housing market is slow. Instead of trying to squeeze very ounce of profit from your home, consider pricing your home according to mid-range prices for homes comparable to yours. To achieve a quick sale, consider pricing your home towards the lower range of prices for comparable homes. With so few buyers available to purchase homes, sellers pricing their homes to high will never attract the attention of serious buyers.
Be Proactive on Pricing
Most home owners want to sell their home for the highest possible price. Nobody wants to feel as if they are practically giving their home away. However, homes that continue to stay on the market for an extended period of time, often elicit suspicion from potential buyers. After enough time has passed, buyers begin to question why a home continues to stay on the market for so long. When the market is slow, it’s far better to cut the price quickly in order to make the sale, instead of waiting around and allowing the home to languish.
Offer Incentives to Buyers
Flexibility is the key. Be prepared to provide buyers with extra options that others aren’t willing to provide such as:
- closing early
- Paying closing fees
- leaving the appliances in the home
Currently competition between sellers is extremely high. Losing the only buyer who has looked at your home this month can mean your home stays on the market for a much longer time.
Spruce Up the Home
While some home issues may seem small, these minuscule problems can cause the sale to go south. Ensure the home is as clean as possible, and free of clutter, in order to help it to show better to potential buyers. Make sure to repair items such as loose railings and broken panes of glass. Leaky faucets and closet doors off their tracks will discourage buyers from taking the plunge as well. Bad odors and pet messes are also a no-no. Eliminate these issues before listing the house to avoid losing a sale.
Create Curb Appeal
First impressions are essential when showing a home. Home buyers will create a powerful initial impression in their mind’s eye from the moment they drive up. Raking leaves and trimming shrubs and bushes will give potential buyers a positive impression of your home.
Your Home is a Stage
Smart sellers will consider home staging, especially for those initial pictures realtors utilize on listings. Hiring a professional home stager or decorating the home yourself can create added value for home buyers. Hide the knick-knacks and duplicate a look seen in home decor magazines. It’s easier to use a home professional to get the desired results, but the self-help method can work just as well.
Patience is a virtue when selling a home. Finding the right buyer takes some time, but it is possible to sell your home despite the current market conditions.