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Mistakes to Avoid when Selling your Home in a Down Market


Even if the real estate market has turned south that does not mean you should simply write off the prospect of selling your home. While it may be somewhat more difficult to do it is still quite possible to sell your home even in a cooled off real estate market provided you know what to do and more importantly what not to do. Learning which mistakes to avoid when trying to sell your home in a down real estate market can make a large difference in how long your home sits on the market.

Poor Photograph

One of the biggest mistakes sellers can make when trying to market their home during a cooled off market is to use photographs that show the home in a poor light. There is certainly a lot of truth in the old saying that pictures speak a thousand words. The picture that is used of your home in marketing materials is often the first prospective home buyers will see of your home. If your miss your chance here to make a good impression you may never get it back. The main idea of the picture is to whet the appetite of the buyer and encourage them to want to see more of the home. Toward that end make sure that pictures used of your home are clear and crisp. Be sure there is sufficient light and that the pictures display your home looking neat and tidy. Avoid posting any pictures that show your home in a cluttered state. Finally, make sure to use multiple photos.

Did Not Emphasize the Uniqueness of the House

In a buyer's market, prospective buyers have a lot of inventory to choose from. You may well find yourself competing with a lot of other sellers for a small number of buyers. This is why it is important to use every tool in your arsenal to attract interest in your home. Providing more than just the basic information about your home is a great way to do that. Let the buyer know why your home is better than any others currently on the market. Is there something about your home that is unique? Be sure to mention it in the marketing for the home. Think back to when you first bought the home. What was it about it that ‘sold' you on it? That very well could be what might sell someone else on it as well!

Misjudging the Value of Agent Previews

Remember that real estate agent are usually more likely to sell a house they have actually seen and know something about it. Therefore, it's important to make a concentrated effort to be sure all the agents in your area have actually previewed your home. Consider enticing them by holding an open house with a nice lunch spread and even door prizes. This will certainly generate some interest!

Limiting Access for Showings

Make sure you are flexible when it comes to showing your home. With a large inventory available for viewing if you put too many restrictions on when your home can be shown you may well find that it's never shown at all. Be willing to allow a lockbox to be placed on the property so that it can be easily shown whether you are at home or not and avoid asking for 24-hours notice before the home can be shown. It's also a bad idea to request that the home be shown by appointment only-this can cause you to miss a number of prospective buyers.

Present Not As Much of Commission than Other Listings

While sellers obviously want to negotiate the best deal possible and net the most profit possible from the sell of their home, when the real estate market is down might not be the best time to try and negotiate too much on the sales commission. The simple fact remains that agents have a tendency to market homes which offer higher commissions more than homes which offer lower commissions.

Not Willing to Negotiate

It is also important to be aware that you may not be in as strong of a position to maintain the asking price as you would be in a seller's market. When the market is down and the inventory of homes on the market is high buyers traditionally expect to be able to negotiate a lower sales price. Make sure you let your agent know that you are willing to negotiate.

Rule out Buyer Incentives

Many sellers are not offering incentives to entice buyers to consider your home over others. You might want to offer incentives such as home protection plan, credit towards the buyer's closing costs or an offer to pay the buyer's home owner's association fees for a year. Finally, consider having your own home inspection performed and make the results available to prospective home buyers. This is traditionally only done when an offer has been made on a home and the buyer usually pays for it; however, making this small investment can go a long way toward providing a competitive edge for your home over others.


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