Falling home prices, increased inventory, and fewer buyers make it a tough time to sell a home – but it is possible. Houses sell every day all across the country, and many first time homebuyers and new real estate investors are poised to grab a deal while housing is still “on sale”. Follow these tips to make your home stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of house hunters.
1) Make The House Move-In Ready
If you are currently living in the home you might think, of course it’s ready to live in. But take a very close look (or have a third party such as a home inspector do it if you think you’ll have a tough time being objective) and see what might look like a project to a potential buyer.
The toilet that doesn’t flush right, the sticky screen door, and the dishwasher that’s on its last legs are all things that seem insignificant but can scare off today’s hard to please buyers. With so many homes for sale and uncertainty still hovering over the housing market, many house shoppers only want to take the plunge into homeownership if they find something just right and if they aren’t worried about mounting repair costs soon after moving.
Investing in having the small projects completed, or your time if you are handy, could be worth every penny if it helps your home sell quickly.
2) Stage The Home
Help your home make a great first impression by following the rules of professional real estate stagers. Remove clutter and personal photos, store away excess furniture to help rooms feel larger, and be sure the house is spotlessly clean. If your decorating style is bold or unique a neutral coat of paint could help the place appeal to a broader range of potential buyers.
Give each room a purpose. If you don’t have bedroom furniture for an extra bedroom set it up as a home office, craft studio, or workout room. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for someone viewing the home to envision themselves living there.
3) Set A Bargain Price
In the current market buyers are expecting to get a great deal. Homes that aren’t competitively priced will simply be ignored. Check to see what properties like yours in the area have sold for recently and ask an experienced real estate agent for their opinion on an asking price. It may even be worth hiring a licensed appraiser to appraise the home at current market value. Don’t set the listing price at your rock bottom number as you want to leave room for negotiations so that the buyers feel they are getting even more of a steal. Working in your favor is that mortgage rates are currently very low, which will allow buyers to pay less to finance the home.
While it can be disappointing to list your house for less than you hoped you’d sell it for, think about what it costs each month you still own the home. In addition to the monthly mortgage payment consider property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA dues, utilities, and more. There’s also the emotional toll that having a home for sale takes, particularly if you need to sell financially. Finally think about the added chores and disruption to the household caused by keeping the home ready for showings and clearing out whenever someone wants to see the property.