It's no secret that home prices and sales tallies have dropped precipitously in recent months - tilting market dynamics to favor buyers over sellers. That doesn't mean a house won't sell, just that the playing field has changed. So here are six tips to help you get a timely sale at a fair price in today's reshuffled housing market.
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- Make those repairs. While in years past it may have been enough just to cut the grass and retouch the paint, anyone looking to sell in today's market will have to take care of those more onerous repair projects as well.
- Price to the market. Unfortunate though it may be for sellers, demand for real estate has softened significantly. That means, in many cases, sellers will have to bring down their asking price below what the house might have fetched just a couple of years back.
By setting an asking price above market value, homeowners risk driving potential buyers away. "There is a buyer for every property if the pricing is right," says Julia Foster, VP of Marketing at Fizber.com.
- Be flexible. Ensuring that your house is ready to show at all times will make it easier for prospective buyers to see it. So make your bed each morning and clean up the dishes before heading off to work, just in case someone may want to come by at the last minute. In addition, homeowners should be willing to disappear on Saturday and Sunday afternoons if potential buyers are free to see the property.
- Bite your tongue: If a potential buyer comes in with an offer you consider too low, resist the urge to turn up your nose. After all, it takes a considerable amount of paperwork to make a formal offer, so even a low bid signals interest.
- Make the Internet work for you: Fizber.com posts your listing to 80 partner sites. Putting a home on Fizber.com helps home sellers market their home to millions of buyers. To turn Internet browsers into customers, online property listings should boast multiple high quality, digital photographs of their home's interior and exterior. The online listing should be combined with a yard sign to attract people driving by the home.
- Consider Placing the Home on the MLS (http://www.fizber.com/sale-by-owner-home-services/flat-fee-mls.htm): The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a complete inventory of homes on the market. Sellers should remember they no longer need a real estate agent to get their home on the MLS, their home can be placed on the MLS through Fizber.com.
Fizber.com is the nation's leading "for sale by owner" website. The company charges a modest fee for its wide range of advertising and real estate resources, priced from $49 to $499. In contrast, a person selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission fee and pay approximately $18,000. Prospective homebuyers can browse property database, available at www.fizber.com, at no charge.