How to Sell Your House in Any Market

How to Sell Your House in any Market

by Brian Bagnall

A pro-active approach will help you have a smoother home-selling experience regardless of market conditions. Follow these simple tips and techniques and you will sell your home in the least amount of time and for the best possible price.

Work with a Knowledgeable Agent
Select a real estate agent for their knowledge, experience and ability, not someone who thinks they can get the highest price. Whatever list price an agent suggests, it should be supported by a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This will provide you with information about the area’s recent sales and current listings and help you make an informed decision. What office support does the agent have? A knowledgeable support staff responsible for many of the details will give an agent more time to focus on marketing and negotiating.

Price Your Home Correctly
Setting a price that is high for the area can be a harmful strategy. You risk losing potential buyers. A house receives the most attention during the first two weeks it is on the market. Even if you lower the price later, you have lost this initial momentum and may not be able to recapture those buyers who would have otherwise been interested. When a house has been on the market for a long time, agents assume there must be something wrong with them. Because they are reluctant to waste their client’s time, they may decide to avoid your house altogether.

Minimize Clutter, Maximize Space
Too much clutter and too many personal items can be distracting for buyers and interfere with their ability to imagine themselves and their possessions in the space. Go through each room and pack up extraneous furniture, clothes, decorations and knick-knacks. Never have more than three personal effects on a piece of furniture or shelf. And don’t forget to clear everything but the essentials from the kitchen counter. Rooms with little maneuvering space will seem small to a buyer. Remove the ottoman, extra chair or side table to allow enough space for at least three people to comfortably walk around the room. Overly full closets will make buyers think there isn’t enough storage. Box up your out-of-season clothes and extra linens. Lastly, make it a habit to put away items as soon as you are done with them. The less clutter there is, the more attractive your home will be.

Monitor Light Levels
Homes show better when there is lots of light. Make sure to open the blinds and curtains before a showing. If your home faces north or it is a gloomy day, turn on some lights. This will add warmth and create a more pleasing and comfortable atmosphere.

Prepare a Full Disclosure Packet
It is smart to have the disclosure statement completed when the property goes on the market. This will help avoid any problems during the negotiation and closing stages.

Be Flexible
Always try to accommodate appointment requests. Realtors often have buyers for a limited period of time, which they optimize by showing them several homes. Asking them to come at another time might cause them to simply skip your property altogether. The convenience of the buyer should be a prime consideration.

Employ a Professional Marketing Strategy
When selecting an agent, make sure you understand their approach to marketing. What initiatives do they typically utilize? What do they recommend for you? Look at their marketing materials. Are they professional? How do they compare with other homes in your price range? How technically savvy is the agent? Someone with the latest business tools, such as a computer, cell phone, Web site and online marketing system, will be the best equipped to sell your home, bringing you greater exposure and ensuring that your home is marketed competitively.