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7 Tips for Selling Your Home in a Down Market

By Gretchen Wegrich Updated on 12/22/2014

tips for selling home on down marketIt’s always been challenging to sell your home and recently it’s become even harder. Even after trying the latest ways to improve your home’s appeal, there are always more ways to make your property standout to home buyers.

We have spoken with many real estate agents and learned their secrets to selling your house in a short amount of time without usually having to change the offering price.

1. Get a professional appraisal. 

Getting a professional appraiser to evaluate your home allows you to get a baseline price for about $300 to $400. To start off, the appraiser finds a realistic range based on recent home sales which share the same characteristics as your house so you have more realistic expectations about your price. The report also provides you information on what a home buyer would be paying to purchase your home with a loan. Home appraisals allow you to better tailor your price and use the market to your advantage.

2. Order a home ispection.

Home buyers want to know they are buying a well maintained and high quality property. By hiring a home inspector to thoroughly analyze your property for defects, you have the ability to fix any large problems before the potential home buyers can see it.

Before a person buys your home, they will most likely have their own home inspector take a look. Buyers will feel more confident of your home’s price point and will be less likely to request costly fixes if you already have your own home report. A house pre-inspection also dissuades buyers from trying to use newly found issues to drive down their house offer.

3.  Promote a home warranty.

New owners feel more assured when their property is backed by a home warranty if they are having major problems with home electricity and plumbing systems. Home sellers also benefit from home warranties by being able to get additional coverage and benefits even after you have sold your home. Home warranty plans range between $300 and $450 and usually cover large appliances like dryers and refrigerators.

4. Offer cash for future home improvements.

Home buyers are fickle people and will want to make changes to their new propertyto feel more at home. Possible changes could be as small as altering the landscaping to as complicated as repainting the entire house.

Make your home stand out by offering to pay cash for future home improvements. By offering a few thousand dollars, you might be able to make a sale and recover this money from the asking price

5. Offer to pay for buyer’s maintenance services.

Choose to hire a lawn care company to take care of mowing the grass while the new owner is moving in or hire a pool company to keep the pool clean the buyer is focused on taking care of property related paperwork. The buyer will appreciate this gesture and this may tip the scale between them buying  your house or someone else’s.

6.  Be flexible with your asking price. 

Many home sellers have a minimum price in their mind and do not want to ever go below this value. This is a bad move since a few thousand dollars could mean the difference between your home being sold or not. In the future, the extra thousand dollars you got from the sale will be unimportant.

Buyers are not thinking of your minimum price when they visit your house for sale. If you receive a lower offer than expected, carefully evaluate it instead of outright dismissing it. Factor in how much longer your house would have to be on the market to make up for the cost (utilities, mortgages, etc). If you will be paying more expenses over time than a potential higher offer, perhaps take a closer look at the first offer.

7. Visit a real estate auction.

Look into using a real estate auction to sell your home. While there are some risks, including paying fees regardless of if your home is sold at auction, auctions are an efficient way to quickly sell your home profitably. Auctions are usually more successful when there are a lot of home buyers with limited real estate available. Many times the auctions are not as good when the housing market is flooded with available homes.

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About The Author:
Gretchen Wegrich
Gretchen Wegrich is an editor at Lender411. She specializes in mortgage basics, personal finance and green living. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in writing from University of California, San Diego and previously worked at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Contact her at gretchen@lender411com.

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