One of the most important things you can do to get your house sold is to learn your market, the value of your property and your competition. Most sellers operate in the dark, simply offering the property for the price they want, without regard to what other homes have sold for and are currently selling for. Undervaluing or overpricing your home can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
With homes sales slowing and prices plunging, there's little doubt that selling for a good price in today's market is going to be tricky. The median existing-home price dropped more than 7% compared with the same month last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. So if you try to ask as much for your property as your neighbour got a year ago, you're going to turn off potential buyers. Instead, price your home conservatively by looking at similar houses currently on the market. Also, look at the homes that aren't selling. Chances are those owners priced their homes too high.
Keep your house looking good at all times, repair things that are broken, and replace things that are rundown. Add a fresh coat of paint (neutral colours preferred), freshen up landscaping, trim trees, clean up clutter and remove personal items, so that prospective buyers can picture themselves in the home rather than seeing you there.
In addition to using the multiple listing service, advertise in local papers and be sure to include beautiful photos. Each photo should showcase something interesting and unique about the property.
It only takes one Buyer to get your home sold. Don’t make your Realtor feel as though their request for a showing is an inconvenience.
If you have fireplaces, make sure that you have fires burning so that there is a beautiful warm glow and the sound of crackling. If you have a gourmet cook’s kitchen, have some great-smelling treats baking in the oven. Turn on soothing music. Set all lights and lamps if the home looks dark or feels heavy. Lighting is crucial. Do the same as if you were having a formal dinner party- the house will certainly sparkle.
A low price may be incentive enough for some buyers, but others might be holding out for something more. This is where creativity can really take over. Perhaps you can throw in a new set of kitchen appliances, or a 3-day paid vacation in Mexico. There are a ton of incentives that speak to the heart of the buyer; be creative and see which one speaks to yours.
Often, the best way to sell a home more quickly in a buyers market is to adjust the terms of the sale instead of the price. While it may sometimes be necessary to adjust the asking price downward or to negotiate a lower price with the buyer, sometimes offering help with closing costs or extended settlement date, will go a lot further.
If you get an offer within the first few weeks, the tendency is for sellers to try and hold out for a better offer. This is generally a mistake. The biggest fish usually bite first, so keep in mind that your first offer will often be your best.
Lastly, keep a positive attitude!