No matter how bad the market becomes, there will always be buyers and sellers. Make sure that you fall into one of those categories. If you are getting ready to list your house, there are several things you can do to ensure that your house sells as soon as possible for as much as possible.
Only Hire a Top Performing Agent
In a slow or highly competitive market, the last thing you want is to hire an agent that plants a sign in your yard and waits for something to happen. The best agents can sell a home in any type of market. They know how to promote your house, competitively price it and they know how to make your house more attractive to buyers. Good agents can help you find professionals to make repairs or improvements. And they should have connections with pools of buyers too.
Clean the House and Tame the Yard
Of course you need to clean the inside of the house to make it show better, but don’t forget about the exterior. A powerwasher can make the outside sparkle too. Don’t forget to powerwash the fence, deck, driveway, sidewalks, porch and anything else you can clean with a powerwasher. I also like to wash stepping stones and any decorative rocks or statues that may be in the garden. Don’t forget the public sidewalk and street curb too. Trim overgrown shrubs, plant some colorful plants and flowers, and remove any botanical eyesore that would detract from the house or negatively impact it.
If there is something wrong with the house that you are aware of, you have to claim it on a Seller’s Disclosure Form. Rather than have your house be stigmatized by it, just repair it. If the disposal doesn’t work, fix it. If the roof looks shabby, replace it. You should replace or repair anything that could scare a buyer away or you had better be prepared to drop your price to make up for it and expect your house to sit on the market longer.
Check Out the Competition
Search the neighborhood for houses similar to yours that are currently for sale. These houses are your competition. How are they priced? What features do they have that yours do not have? Would a buyer prefer this house to yours? Why? Find out how you can make your house more attractive than the competition in price, features, look, smell, feel, etc.
Price Your House Competitively
A good agent can help you price your house competitively. If a house is priced too high, it will sit on the market and grow stale. The longer a house sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes until it becomes stigmatized. At this point, you’ll be forced to lower your price to attract any interest in it. When this happens, a homeowner is usually forced to lower the price beyond what they’re comfortable with. This term is called “chasing the market” and it happens all the time, especially with bad agents that do not know how to competitively price a house.