If the real estate market is slower than you’d like, that doesn’t mean you have to hold off on selling your home. While there are definitely challenges you’re going to have to deal with when selling in a down market, they’re not completely insurmountable. With these tips, you’ll be in a much better position to sell your house, even if the market stays cold for a while.
During a hot real estate market, it’s really tempting to opt for the for sale by owner choice. However, this isn’t the tactic you want to use if the market is bad, especially if you’ve never sold a home by yourself before. It’s extremely difficult to attract buyers during a bad market, and you’ll have an even harder time sticking to your guns during negotiations.
By hiring a licensed agent who has plenty of experience in your area, you’ll be able to create a strategic marketing plan that’s customized for a poor market and that will connect you to – and keep you connected with – the right buyers. A real estate agent or broker will also be able to help you decide on a fair price.
If you want buyers to think of your home as having value, then you have to make it look valuable! Without the right staging, buyers won’t respect your home enough, and they’ll only be willing to pay bottom-of-the-barrel prices. Here’s what you need to do to prep your home for sale:
• Declutter: Get rid of clutter by organizing it, throwing it out or donating it. You may also want to put some things in storage so that you can make your home look larger and so buyers can imagine living there themselves.
• Clean: Once you’ve pared down your furnishings and belongings, it’s time to give your home a deep, thorough cleaning. If you don’t have time to clean or you don’t trust yourself to get in every single crevice, hire a professional cleaning crew.
• Make Improvements: If you know there are certain things that are going to prevent buyers from wanting to buy your home, improve them before you show your house. This may mean installing up-to-date appliances, painting the interior or exterior, or repairing leaks.
• Limit Improvements: Yes, you want to make improvements where they’re needed, but avoid a major, expensive overhaul such as additions or complete room remodels. This will raise your price to a point that buyers may not be willing to pay.
• Stage: To get buyers to fall head-over-heels in love with your home, have it professionally staged. Staging shows off your home in the best light possible, but the home remains neutral enough so buyers can picture adding their own personal style to it.
Speak with your agent about the best way to market your home. You may want to get your home listed on various real estate listing services, for example. Another option is to create a website where you can give buyers a virtual tour of your home. This offers an around-the-clock type of open house, and it’s also useful to buyers who live far away and won’t be able to come in for a live tour. You can also use your website to talk about the neighborhood and to provide links to your favorite restaurants and events.
If you need to get rid of your home because you can’t pay the mortgage anymore, you may want to think about a short sale, which could help you stay away from foreclosure. A short sale is when you sell your house fast for less than you owe the lender. The lender then agrees to forgive the rest of the balance. However, some lenders can move very slow, so it could take a long time to get approved for a short sale.
When the real estate market is cold, it can be tough for even buyers with good credit to get financing. This means you have the opportunity to offer seller financing, which means you finance the sale yourself. Often, this allows sellers to sell quicker, and you’ll also get a financial return.
The way it works is that you’ll technically be the lender, but you won’t have to lend the buyer cash. You’ll extend the buyer credit against the price of your home. Since this can be a complex process, you’ll want a real estate attorney to draw up the contracts and guide you through.
One Last Thought
Yes, during a cold real estate market, you have to deal with unique challenges like too much inventory, lower prices, and stubborn buyers who want to constantly bargain. You may also find that some of the buyers out there don’t have an easy time getting a loan. However, by dealing with the real estate market in this state, you’ll learn different marketing strategies that could help you on another sale in the future.