Although home appreciation has leveled off in some markets, sellers can still get good prices for their homes. The sale may take a bit longer, but a little creativity can help sellers move homes without having to drop the price.
The professionals at CENTURY 21 Lakes Region Realty offer the following suggestions for sellers who want to speed the process:
Price Your Home According to the Current Market.
Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. Your CENTURY 21 Lakes Region Realty professional can help you to determine the appropriate, competitive listing price for your home. Remember that in a buyer’s market, your sales associate may encourage a list price in accordance with others currently on the market, rather than those previously sold.
Be Thankful for Appreciation.
While price appreciation has slowed in some markets in 2007, it is important to look realistically at the financial gains you have made over the years you have owned your home. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, over the last six years the median sales price of a single-family existing home in the U.S. appreciated a little more than 7 percent annually.
Make Your Home More Marketable.
When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. If applicable, maximize curb appeal by trimming trees and planting flowers. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. Consider neutral colors for interior walls and carpets. Dark colors on walls, along with unnecessary clutter, make rooms look smaller.
Conduct a Full Home Inspection.
If your home requires repairs, it is a good idea to go ahead and fix the problems. Potential buyers will cast an extremely critical eye over your home and, in a situation when more houses are available on the market, they may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs. Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective buyers itemizing all of the repairs that have been made and the associated cost for each.
Offer a “Seller’s Contribution.”
A seller can sweeten the deal by offering assistance to the buyer in ways that do not require lowering the asking price. These tactics can help your home to stand out from the crowd. For example:
· Offer to buy down the interest rate on the buyer’s mortgage.
· Offer to pay a portion of the closing costs.
· Cover the buyer’s mortgage payments for up to the first six months. Depending upon the size of the mortgage, the buyer can save several thousand dollars and the seller still gets the original asking price for the home. It is generally more financially advantageous to do this than dropping the asking price.
· Many condos and houses across the country belong to homeowners’ associations that require annual dues. Paying the first year’s fees can be a big incentive to a buyer nearing the limit of their liquid assets.
· Offer to pay off a buyer’s bills. Some loan programs allow sellers to pay off the credit card debt or auto loans of the buyer which will help him or her qualify for a better mortgage and prevent the need to buy a smaller, less expensive house.
Properly priced homes that stand out from the competition are selling and demand for homes is still at historical highs. Speak to your CENTURY 21 Lakes Region Realty sales associate to find out how long an appropriately priced home is expected to remain on the market in your area.