Keys to Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

It has been a rough few years for the national real estate market.  While the local market has remained almost untouched by the downwards trend, it still counts to know these tips for selling your home– in any market:

1) Curb appeal counts. Most home buyers want homes which look great from the outside. It’s not just a question of curb appeal — it’s about perception. If a home looks good from the street it probably means the property is ready for a new occupant without a lot of cost or hassle.

2) A clutter-free home. With the new emphasis on cash sales and speed owners must show homes which are free and clear of clutter. A clutter-free home will make interior spaces look larger and eliminates the need to get rid of stuff when you are in the throes of moving. It makes sense to donate or reduce clutter before a home is placed on the market — not only as a sales tactic but also as a practical step toward relocation.

3) Working condition. Having your home’s systems in good mechanical condition is an advantage in today’s market. Most distressed homes can’t compete when it comes to such basics as working heating, plumbing and air-conditioning. Properties that can readily pass a professional home inspection are often easier to finance, and are generally more appealing to buyers who don’t want to face the unknown costs and delays sometimes associated with major renovations.

4) List and negotiate properly. According to Forsythe, “a seasoned REALTOR® can show owners how best to market a particular home according to such factors as location, price, condition and financing. Owners want to work with us because our experience brings value and confidence to a transaction, factors that are enormously important in a changing marketplace.”

5) Seek prequalified buyers. While many sales may be for cash, the majority still require financing. It would be frustrating to enter into a sales contract with a potential buyer who ultimately cannot obtain financing to purchase your home — meaning you have lost time — and potentially money — and then you have to start over. When a home is shown by appointment, the buyer should have a pre-qualification letter in hand.

6) Distressed properties. Roughly 30 percent of today’s home sales involve “distressed” properties — a term which includes short sales and foreclosed properties owned by lenders. You need to consider the distressed properties in your neighborhood when pricing and marketing your home. These properties typically sell at discount, especially in major foreclosure centers and sometimes require substantial repair and rehabilitation

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