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Selling Your Home in a Bad Market

Choose the Best Real Estate Agent, Provide Sales Incentives, and Market Innovatively

© 2012 Sharon Freeman; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission. Posted October 6, 2012

A patio awning and patio furniture; photo courtesy Lilsarahp


It’s no secret that the economy is at an all-time low. This is most definitely not a seller’s market, but everyone knows that sometimes you just have to sell your house.

The good news is just because not very many people are buying, some people still are. The competition is just a bit fiercer. So the goal is to make your house more attractive than the other ones on your block, so that it will get snatched up much quicker.

Just Like Fishing, Presentation is Essential

This is mostly common sense, but some people underestimate the simple power of making things look good. There can be no chipped paint, no ugly wallpaper, and carpets must be fresh and clean.

Do your absolute best to make it look like the home has never even been lived in! Don't spare any expense on updating outdated fixtures, replacing carpet, or even buying new furniture. Don’t go overboard, though.

The plan is to make money, not lose it. But getting some cheap new chairs that look nice can work wonders. Power wash the driveway and make the windows sparkle. The point is, a buyer needs to picture themselves living in the house, and so it needs to look unnaturally clean and inviting—a heaven on earth, so to speak.

The Real Estate Agent

The key to selling anything lies in marketing. You have to make people aware of your house and want to buy it before they even get there.

If you aren’t able to do this yourself, extensively interview real-estate agents until you find one who can. Do not just hire the first agent you come across. They could possibly be the difference between selling your house or having it stay on the market forever!

You want to hire someone that people will trust, who has a sparkling personality and an incredible sales pitch. And you want to advertise on every available space that you can.

If you need to pay extra to get a big ad in the local “homes for sale” brochure; do it! And take incredible pictures that are eye-catching and showcase your home’s most beautiful features.

Offering Incentives

Once the buyer gets excited about your home and can truly see himself living there, they may start to get hung up on the price. After all, money is tight in this day and age, and they may be able to get a better deal around the corner.

But if you’ve ever taken an economics class, you know that incentives are everything. Your home being beautiful and in a great location simply isn’t enough.

You can purchase home warranties that act as insurance on things like your furnace and plumbing systems. This inspires confidence and tells the buyer that if anything does break, you will have it fixed, even after you have moved on!

Have you made energy efficiency improvements on your home? A report from an energy audit inspection can provide a nice “carrot on a stick” to show prospective buyers how much they can save on utility bills.

You can even, of course, lower the price. But be careful—some buyers know that sellers are desperate, and they may try and get you to lower the price lower than you are comfortable.

DO NOT for any reason make the price lower than what the house is actually worth. There will be other buyers.

Be Honest

Don’t tell the buyer things that are not true. As mentioned before, sellers get desperate in times like these. But a buyer will respect and appreciate the fact that you are upfront and honest with them about any small problems the home may have.

Plus, if you are honest about one problem, they will know that you are being truthful when you tell them about all of the wonderful aspects of the home that seem too good to be true.

Do you have any home marketing tips that have worked well for you? Feel free to share them with our readers in the comment section below.

About the Author:

This guest article has been written by Sharon Freeman about Real Estate for one of Sydney’s leading Estate Agents.

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