Guidelines for a Shifting Market
It is likely that the year 2008 will be remembered as one most friendly to home buyers with good credit and solid down payment funds. It will also be remembered as the year that home market values fell for many, equity slipped, and selling your home meant long waits, fewer showings, and lower offers.
Where does that leave home sellers today? Is it possible to sell your home, make a little profit, and move up to your next home, in a reasonable marketing time frame? The answer is absolutely "YES!" But, you need to follow a few important Guidelines
1. HOW STRONG IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO MOVE? Those of you who are "just thinking" about moving to a nicer, larger home, great opportunities await buyers. However, home sellers could face long market times, repeated price reductions, and possible lowball offers. The market is starting to shift a little bit in the last 4 - 6 weeks. Talk to your real estate professional and get some information of read the Market Watch.
2. HOW MUCH EQUITY DO YOU TRULY HAVE IN YOUR HOME? It's important here to be true to yourself. Trust the advice of your real estate and lending professionals.
3. PRICE YOUR HOME CORRECTLY - RIGHT FROM THE START! Despite what everyone around you may tell you, this is not the type of market to "test the waters" with a higher than market price. Take a close look at the SOLD prices (not the ASKING prices) of comparable properties within a tight, three-month maximum time frame. Remember, online, automated home pricing sites do not provide an accurate figure. There must be a physical walk-through of your property to compare it to others that have sold to get a more accurate number. Your Real Estate Professional should have the knowledge of your neighborhood to assist you the how best to price your property!
4. STAGE YOUR HOUSE PROPERLY! Preparing your house for sale so it creates an instant positive impression. Furniture must be arranged to make the rooms appear larger. Room lighting is CRITICAL - brightly-lit rooms appear much larger than those lit dimly. Sparkling clean is an absolute imperative! This appeals to buyers the most. "IF I CAN SMELL IT, I CANNOT SELL IT"!
5. HAVE YOUR PROPERTY SHOWABLE AT ALL TIMES, AND WITH SHORT NOTICE! Today, with scheduled showings fewer in number, and qualified home buyers at a premium, you will never know if that showing you refused because "it's inconvenient" might have been the perfect buyer that you threw away. Use Secure Agent Lock Boxes.
6. NEVER REJECT AN OFFER TO PURCHASE - EVEN IF IT'S A LOWBALL! Don't give your property away. But, COUNTEROFFER EVERYTHING, and don't take low offers from any buyer personally! Remember, there is no sin in saving money, and buyers - perhaps even YOU, when you buy your next home - might be inclined to "test" with a low offer, while maintaining every intention to INCREASE THE OFFER if necessary. Even if your Real Estate Professional advises you to counter a low offer with one close to your asking price - COUNTER ALL OFFERS TO PURCHASE - NEVER REJECT OUT OF HAND!
7. LOWER YOUR PRICE QUICKLY, AND SYSTEMATICALLY, UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AN OFFER! Every property will sell, AT THE RIGHT PRICE! Often, however, it takes some time to find the correct price level. If there are no offers within the first TWO WEEKS your house is on the market, REDUCE YOUR ASKING PRICE until you receive an offer. Continue this pricing strategy until the house goes under contract.
8. FSBO - NO GO! Are you considering selling by-owner? You'll save Real Estate Fees - yes? DEAD WRONG! Read this article
9. SHOULD I SELL FIRST? This would depend on the location, price, and your financial position. You MUST discuss this with your real estate and financial professionals.
10. DON'T MAKE UNNECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS ON YOUR OLD HOME! Over-improving a home for sale can get very costly. Talk to your real estate professional, or even a home stager, before you make a decision as to what to do to your home to sell it the quickest and for the best price. If you are going to make changes, then make sure that you will get a substantial amount as a return on your investment. It's usually the big ticket items that dictate what a buyer will be willing to accept.
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