Do you have to sell your house now?
It’s finally October, and even though the mercury in the thermometer may not show any signs of being on the decline, it is the beginning of the end of the slow, slow, slow real estate season.
Pretty soon we’ll start seeing license plates from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey. This year they will all be more than welcomed. But what if you must sell your home now, as in before traffic starts to build on I-75? What if for job or life circumstances you have no alternative other than to sell now, how do you manage that in what is being said is the worst home-selling market since Herbert Hoover was president?
How many times have you heard, selling your home is a business transaction, and the sooner you treat your family’s biggest asset that way, the better off you will be. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s true. If you want to sell your property, pack away your emotions along with you’re mother’s antique crystal collection and get down to business.
Don’t try and time the market. If you want it sold the best way is to get it on the market as soon as possible. It’s OK to take advantage of historic local market cycles, like the one we have coming up, but beyond that you’re just gambling.
Without doing big-ticket renovations, you can still get your home in good condition. Make sure everything is working properly. A fresh paint job is always a good idea and, of course, de-clutter. This may not get you money, but it will keep buyers from running out the front door and on to the next house.
And speaking about money, pricing correctly in a slow market is not just one more thing you can do. It’s the most important thing you can do. Don’t even consider trying to factor in the improvements you’ve made or what the house was worth three years ago. Your price should be below comparable nearby properties, period.
Get professional help in the form of a top real estate agent. Interview top producers, and choose one that you’re comfortable with who has some creative marketing ideas, not one who is telling you what you want to hear. Make sure your property is listed in all the top real estate Web sites, as well as classified and display advertising. You can’t have enough exposure. And it doesn’t hurt to help your real estate agent through you’re network of work and personal relationships by spreading the word.
Providing financing for a potential buyer has always given home sellers a leg up in the real estate market. Now more than ever, with financing tight, if you are in a financial position to hold a mortgage for your buyer, it could be the tipping point in selling your property.
Finally, your home is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. It’s a good thing to negotiate, as long as you know that buyers in this market are holding all the cards. If you have a reasonable offer from a qualified buyer, be prepared to accept it even if you have to hold your nose while signing the papers.
If this is the time that you must sell, pull out all the stops. Feng shui the living room and paint the front door red, bury a statue of St. Joseph and learn to bake brownies for the open house. Have no shame, shed no tears, take control and sell your biggest commodity now. Tell Herbert Hoover, "Forget about it!"