If you want some bad news, turn to the real estate section in your local newspaper. We’ve all heard that the housing market is not expected to rebound anytime soon. In many areas, home sellers are up against a glut of inventory sitting on the market. And, despite low mortgage interest rates, many potential homebuyers are unable to secure a loan due to unemployment, strict down payment policies or other financial hurdles. What does this mean for home sellers who are ready to part ways with a property?
Selling a home in a depressed market might be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The average time to sell a home has increased as the housing market has slowed. While it has become commonplace for a home to sit on the market for several months, home sellers should try their best to avoid this scenario. If a home sits for too long, low offers may start to pour in. Or even worse, no offers come in and the seller is forced to lower the price or take the home off the market.
To avoid this situation, start preparing well before listing your house. This means researching your local market, making necessary updates to your house, and finding a top notch real estate agent who can guide you through the process. These tips for selling a home apply to any situation, but they become even more important in a depressed market. Here are some tips to consider before selling your home:
- Create an amazing first impression. Research the best home improvements to sell a house and make sure your home is ready to make a great first impression. To make your house stand out from the crowd, go beyond painting walls and making minor repairs. You want to create an inviting atmosphere where anyone could feel “at home.” To get this right, you may want to hire someone to stage your home.
- Make sure your home is priced right. You may be wondering: How do I calculate the value of my home? This is where a good real estate agent who knows your local market comes into play. Your agent can evaluate your home and provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) showing the prices houses sold for in your neighborhood.
- Market your home. When choosing a real estate agent to work with, be sure to ask how they will market your home. Whether it’s online or print advertising, open houses or agent tours, every bit of visibility counts. And, since most buyers search for homes online, quality photographs of your home are vital for making that great first impression.
If your home is in an area with many foreclosures or where property values have dropped dramatically, you may be better off waiting for the real estate market to improve. But if you’re ready to sell, doing research and making the house stand out from the crowd can improve your chances of selling the home for the price you want.