Selling Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

If you have driven around any residential community in the country you have seen what every other American has seen, signs that read For Sale. With mortgage foreclosures at an all-time high and homeowners looking to get out from under houses that they cannot afford to keep there is a massive amount of inventory on the market today. For buyers that is a good thing because it means that if they are pre-approved by their banks they are in a strong negotiating position to get a home they want for a price they can afford. For sellers the opposite is true. Most sellers are putting their houses on the market with little hope of getting anywhere near what they would have gotten a year ago and that sets the stage for sellers remorse.

Sellers remorse is a term hardly ever uttered. Buyers remorse happens all the time when a buyer regrets making a purchasing decision soon after it has been made. And with mortgages, getting out of it is certainly more difficult than getting into it. For sellers the remorse lies in the fear of not getting value in the sale price of the home. With so many homes on the market and prices continually falling the question becomes how soon you want to sell moreso than anything else. For sellers trying to get their homes sold quickly, their homes are at a premium of up to 15% of value. And that has created a major problem for people trying to get fair market value for their home when that dollar figure has dropped for the last six months while the assessed property value (the taxable amount) has remained the same.

For sellers there are a few things you can do to position yourself to get a higher sale price than your neighbor down the street and it begins with a fundamental shift in your philosophy. As long as you are desperate the market will treat you unkind. Owners trying to sell their homes in 1-2 months have a harder time getting that fair market value than owners willing to keep the home on the market 12 months or even longer. While many Americans are feeling the credit crunch to the extent that they cannot wait 12 months to sell their home there are some that can. And if you can, you absolutely should.

Beyond the mental aspects of selling your home there are some practical things you can do to position your home to get a higher offer and ultimately sell price than others in your neighborhood. A lot of sellers are agreeing to pay most if not all of the closing costs. Others are putting $3,000 in upgrades or modifications in homes in order to maximize the price point that the home can sell for. While those methods are sound the problem with them is that they cost you money. So while you will get more you still fail to get as much as you could because you are losing some money in whatever deal you offer a potential seller.

A second thing a seller can do to get maximum profit is stage the home. With so many homes on the market differentiating one home from another can be a difficult thing to do if they all look alike. If you market your home to a particular niche you position yourself for better success than simply trying to catch the first fish that bites. Just because you get a nibble does not mean you actually caught something. This goes back to the time factor mentioned before. If you move in haste you will regret it later.

Another thing that should be looked at is who is showing your home. So many homes now have key boxes so potential buyers can basically peruse your home with little to no interaction with a realtor. Why not be the salesperson? Why not you take the time to show the home yourself. You know better than anyone the best aspects of the home. Your financial standing depends on it.

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