If you are trying to sell today, there are several important things to know and do in order to get the house sold. Here are four tips to selling your piece of real estate in a buyer's market:
1. Be Realistic
The most essential part of getting your home sold in this real estate market is to have realistic expectations. In some areas of the country, as much as a third of the homes for sale are foreclosures, being sold at loss.
That means you have some stiff competition. You are most likely not going to get an amazingly huge profit out of the sale like you might have a few years ago. You need to look at comparable homes on the market and expect a similar price for your house. Neither are you likely to see your home sold within a matter of days. Be prepared for your property to sit on real estate listing for several months.
2. Perfect the Curbside Appeal
The very first thing people see about your home is the front yard and the house exterior. Do all you can to let these elements make a great first impression. Many people can picture making renovations to the inside of a house, but most have a harder time picturing themselves living in a house with an ugly facade.
What you can do is repaint the exterior, including the trim and fences if needed. This will give the place a crisp, fresh look no matter how old it is. Another tip is to spruce up the landscaping.
Of course, you should make sure the lawn is always well trimmed, but you can also add some interesting aesthetics by adding bushes and flowers. Unless you are very experienced with landscaping, hire a professional to improve your yard.
3. Depersonalize the Place
When people walk through your house, they want to be able to picture themselves living there. That is hard for them to do if there are pictures of your family and pets everywhere and if they see very personalized knickknacks and memorabilia all around the house.
Your job is to clean out and pack away everything that tells a potential buyer that you are the owner. You will have to pack it all up anyway when you do sell, so this just gives you a head start.
In addition to family pictures and personal items, you should also remove any highly stylized decor that may not appeal to the broadest selection of buyers. Your real estate agent can be a valuable resource in helping you determine what needs to go and what can stay during the selling period.
4. Make Your Home a "Turn-Key" House
Buyers can expect a lot during a down real estate market, so you will see more bids and buyers if your home is in a turn-key state, meaning it is all repaired, renovated, and ready for a new resident to move in.
This means painting all the walls in a fresh coat of neutrally-colored paint, fixing any leaky faucets or holes in the wall or broken hinges. Your other focus areas should be on the kitchen and bathrooms.
You can give these rooms an automatic face lift by painting them in very light colors and by replacing the old cabinet hardware with shiny new knobs and handles. Look your house over and try to find any areas that need to be improved to make the place as close to a model home as possible.