You've been hearing it every day. It's a buyer's market. The market is soft. Interest rates are up. In other words, if you are trying to sell your house, it will be tough. While a soft market can be a hassle for a home seller, it does not mean getting an offer on your home is an impossibility. One way to make sure your house gets noticed amongst all the other homes for sale out there is to apply a few tried and true marketing techniques.
Here are some tips on how to sell your house in a soft market.
- Price It To Sell. All too often sellers and seller's agents overprice a home because they believe "it only takes one buyer." While this is true, in a soft market, most buyers are expecting softer prices. Get a real estate agent who presents you with a realistic number for your home. Look at other comparable properties to find an appropriate range of prices. Look at the properties sold near your home with similar attributes. Play off of these numbers.
- Staging. Having your home staged is crucial. Remove all clutter from your home and stage your furniture in the way that best shows off the space of your home. Consult your agent or a professional designer for tips.
- Open Houses. Open houses are a good way to generate interest in your home. Having open houses every Sunday maximizes the exposure of your home.
- Doing It in Your Own vs. Professional Help. Many sellers faced with selling their home in a soft market start to look at their agent's commission as a huge burden. While it may be the case that you, as a seller, may not be able to make a profit on your home (or as much as a profit) because you have to pay a hefty commission, it will be harder to sell on your own because of the resources agents have. Also, your work schedule may, and will likely, interfere with appointments for your home. To sell your home, you need to be able to accommodate several showings a week, sometimes at inconvenient times. There are companies that offer lower commissions (usually for lower services). Check these companies out. Ask what services they perform and what ones they will not.
- Multiple Listing Service. MLS is the most essential avenue to use to get your home advertised. You must be listed with an agent to have your home on this database. All agents are able to see properties on MLS and send them to their clients. Tell your agent that you must be on this database.
- Buyer Financing. In a soft market, sellers often offer money back to potential buyers. Sellers sometimes offer to pay for the buyer's closing costs to make the deal more attractive.
- Offer Incentives to Agents. Some sellers and seller's agents offer bonuses to any broker that brings a buyer.
- Consider All Offers. In a soft market, a seller is not in a position to be insulted by an offer (most offers). If a buyer offers on your property, take it seriously. Counter the offer and try to work the deal to your advantage. You never know how high a buyer is willing to go until you engage him in the offer/counter offer process.
- Swallow Your Pride. In a soft market, you may have to accept less money than you expected. If you need to move and renting out your home is not an option, you may have to accept a lower sales price. Be consoled by the fact that as a buyer, you may find a good deal as well (if the market you are moving into is also a soft one). The real estate market is and has never been predictable.
Online courses in marketing can help you develop language that will get your home ads noticed.
Buying a home is an investment, but remember too, that you buy a home because you love it. Do not think of the home buying and selling process as a stock market investment since there is more to a home than its ability to mature. If you must accept less money than you initially thought you would get, consider it a wash for all the fun years you had in the home.