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Home Selling Tips For Spring Buyer's Market PDF Print E-mail

If you're planning to put your home on the market in time for spring, now's the time to get it ready to show.   But wait, it's still a buyer's market. What can you do to catch the buyer's eye and get them to make an offer?


It's going to take more than a fresh coat of paint and a new welcome mat. A buyer's market raises the stakes, and you'll find you need to do a lot more work on your home than you think, if you want to get the highest price possible.

You've heard that you should clean, paint and repair, but that may not be enough. If your home is cluttered and in disrepair, buyers won't pay top dollar. Knowing how buyers reason should help you pick which updates are most likely to help you sell your home.  Let's take the most basic selling suggestions and explore why these are such important mantras.


Boost your curb appeal.

A clean house with cosmetic upgrades like painting and planting flowers can help form a fantastic first impression of your home.  Why? Eighty-four percent of homebuyers use the Internet to search for homes. One-third of homebuyers use the Internet first, before any other source. That means that people are making decisions whether or not to even drive by your home based on how it looks in video, virtual tours and photographs.


Make big fixes where you can.

If your budget allows, invest in bigger improvements. Focus on "make or break" rooms like bathrooms and kitchens, because nothing says "uninviting" like an unattractive cooking space.

Why? The National Association of Realtors found in 2007 that a whopping 59 percent of homebuyers remodeled or made improvements to their homes within three months of purchase. Forty-seven percent made improvements to the kitchen, another 45 percent remodeled or improved a bathroom, and 43 percent remodeled a bedroom.

Keep in mind that the rate of new home building accelerated during the housing boom, and buyers are used to seeing as much as 25 percent of available inventory as new. That's your competition, and the closer you can get the buyer to new, the likelier you are to sell your home.


Be upfront with disclosures.

Don't wait for the buyer to get a home inspection, or the buyer could find a reason to wiggle out of the deal. Get a preliminary inspection yourself, so you can improve the condition of your home before a buyer sees it. Keep receipts of recent improvements and provide estimates on optional upgrades. These actions will reinforce your trustworthiness as a seller and help overcome objections from the buyer.

With new homes, buyers have some guarantees that systems will be fixed by the builder if they fail, but they have no such guaranteed with an existing home. Providing a home warranty will go a long way in assuring the buyer.


Be realistic.

Your price should be competitive with nearby comparable homes with similar features and approximate condition that have sold or are on the market within the last three months. You may find that homes are taking longer to sell and that buyers are more selective. Your buyer may be using the Internet to find home valuation sites, so search those sites yourself and be ready to defend your price with proper comparables from your Realtor.

Remember, your home is competing with new construction and with the buyer's idea of what a home should look like. Over 33 percent of home buyers prefer a home less than 10 years old, yet the typical home purchased by all buyers was 12 years of age. That suggests that condition is very important. If you can ease your buyer's fears about the condition of your home, you're much more likely to strike a deal.

 

Article by Blanche Evans | © 2008 Realty Times

 
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