1. Price your home aggressively. When mortgage rates are low and buyers are chasing too few houses for sale, sellers can ask high prices and get them. Even when houses are overpriced for the market, sellers are likely to receive some offers, as buyers are often desperate to find a home that meets their needs. When home sales are slower, pricing is absolutely critical. But instead of pricing your home aggressively high, you should consider pricing your home no higher than the middle of the range for homes comparable to yours. And if you need to sell your home quickly, you should consider pricing your home among the bottom 25 percent of comparable homes. Why? With few buyers chasing many homes, you need to quickly get the attention of those who are serious about buying, If your home is priced too high, you may never get buyers to even consider looking at your home.
2. Quickly cut the price if you don’t get action. Everyone wants to sell their home for as much money as possible. Nobody wants to “give” their home away. But homes that languish on the market in a slow market often are forced to make one price reduction after another, as buyers and real estate agents may begin to question why the home has been on the market for so long. In a slow market with few buyers, you may want to cut the price to make a quicker sale.
3. Finding the right agent is critical. Any agent can list your house. But when buyers are few, you need a first-class real estate professional on your side. They’ll help with everything from pricing to advising you on the other 6 points in this article. Talk with your family, friends, and neighbors to identify the best agents in your area. Hire the real estate agent who you believe will do the best job for you.
4. Curb appeal. After pricing, nothing will bring more potential buyers into your home than a house with outstanding curb appeal. Take a walk down your street with a critical eye. How does your home stack up from the outside? If it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the homes in your neighborhood, then it’s time to get to work.
5. Consider home staging. The quickest way to add market value to a home for sale is a fresh coat of paint. But after you do that, you may want to consider home staging. Either do it yourself or hire an outside firm to stage your home. A home staging professional will evaluate the image of your home and furnishings, rearrange and possibly add up-to-date furnishings to add an updated touch and positive energy to the perception of your home. Home builders hire interior designers and home stagers to showcase model homes. Whether fast or slow real estate market sales, home staging can add thousands of dollars in value to the sale of your home!
6. Fix stuff. The loose railing. The broken pane of glass. The closet door off of its track. The leaky faucet. They all need to be fixed. If you don’t have the time or skill, find a handyman to make repairs. Also, consider replacing the old roof that looks like it might leak, the antique furnace, and the stained rug. When there are few homes on the market, sellers sometimes offer cash at closing to repair the roof or for the stained rug. With so many homes on the market, buyers can afford to only bid on those that are in move-in condition. We recommend repairing damaged or non-working items before listing your house.
7. Offer flexible terms. Flexibility can be important. You’d like to close in two months: however, the buyers might be in a hurry and need to close sooner. Find a way to make it happen. You were planning to take the appliances to your new home; however, the buyers make a bid near the asking price – including the appliances. Leave the washer and dryer behind (consider finding a store that offers no payments on appliance purchases for a year). And for those items that have deep sentimental value, make sure they are removed prior to any showings. Competition between home sellers is high – you don’t want to lose the best buyer for your home.