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Tips to Sell Your House in a Cooling Market


There is no doubt about the fact that in many geographic locations the real estate market is cooling. As a result there are more homes on the market, sellers are waiting longer to sell their homes and selling them for less than they would like. While this sounds like a scary prospect for home owners the good news is there are several strategies sellers can use to move their homes despite the cooling market.

It's important to recognize the perspective of the buyer. Just as a military general would make a point to understand the enemy you must make the time to understand how home buyers view the current market when you decide to sell your home. Due to the rising inventory of the home market, buyers are becoming increasingly choosy. They no longer feel as though they must make a rapid decision even if a house does interest them. Frequently, home buyers also feel as though they have more room to negotiate on the sales price and other terms.

Refusing to consider negotiating tactics may mean your home sits on the market for longer. If you feel you absolutely must bring in the asking price, be prepared for your home to sit on the market for some time in order to find the right buyer. On the other hand, if time is of the essence, recognize the fact you may need to consider lowering your asking price. In many cases, this can speed up the time in which your home sales dramatically.

It is also important to make sure your home is priced right when you first place it on the market. Be aware that pricing your home too low can do just as much damage as pricing it too high. Buyers frequently view homes priced too low as "problem houses." They may feel the home has issues that could be costly later on. If you're not sure how to accurately price your home or your home is not selling at the price suggested by your agent, consider biting the bullet and having a professional appraisal of your home performed. This will help you to gain a very accurate idea of the market value of your home. In a cooling market, take that information and then price your home just below the market value to move it fast.

Recognize that while it is important for your agent to do their share of marketing in order to sell your home, in a cooling market you may need to pitch in and lend a hand as well. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a lower commission rate with your agent in exchange for the marketing you provide. For example, if you find a buyer on your own you may be able to get your agent to shave off as much as half of the commission. In the end this can help you to retain more of your sales price; possibly even tens of thousands of dollars depending on the final sales price.

Keep in mind that when a real estate market is in a transitional phase you cannot afford to waste time. If you receive an offer early on during the listing phase, be sure to seriously consider it. Otherwise you may find yourself wishing months down the road after your home remains unsold that you had taken it. Even if the offer far below the asking price, avoid the temptation to turn it down flat. Come back with a counter-offer. Show the buyers you're willing to negotiate.

Along the same lines, be aware that while you may not feel you can negotiate much on the sales price of the home there may be other areas where you can negotiate with the buyer. Offer to make repairs or pay for some of the buyer's home closing costs. These negotiating tactics can go a long way toward driving a buyer's attention your way. Many home owners are also looking at other ways they can provide an incentive to buyers such as providing home warranties that will cover the cost of home repairs during a certain period of time after the home is purchased. Such a warranty doesn't cause much of an out of pocket expense for the seller but can be a major incentive to buyers.

Look for ways you can use to impress buyers. Remember they have a lot to choose from and you want your home to stand out. If possible, hire someone to professionally stage your home. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the homes they view. Help them along the way.

Before you ever sign a real estate listing agreement, discuss marketing strategies with agents while interviewing them. If buyers can afford to be choosy in the current market you must be choosy about the agent you hire. Don't tie yourself down to an agent that won't provide you with an extensive marketing plan.

Finally, if you really want to sell your house fast in current down market, you might want to consider paying the real estate agent more. Maybe a percentage point above the national average. You can't go wrong playing to an agent's self-interest. If all things being equal, an agent will show a home paying more commission. And the more exposure your home receives the better chance you will have of selling it.


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