There are still several months left in 2006, but if you're hoping to sell your home by the end of the year, it's time for you to get serious. The reason? This year has proved to be far more difficult year for sellers than last year's record-setting market.
The real estate market in 2006 has been characterized by a distinct move toward buyers. Selling a home is no longer just a simple matter of pounding a sign in the yard and then waiting for buyers to bid aggressively for the right to buy. As 2006 rolled along, the growing " buyer's market" was caused by an oversupply of homes for sale and an undersupply of qualified buyers.
Nationwide, the volume of home sales has continued to decrease slightly, according to the National Association of Realtors, although the median price of homes in most areas has remained about the same. What that translates to is that a full-scale price correction hasn't taken place, but the days of double-digit price inflation are gone, at least for the foreseeable future.
To help beat the odds, you'll need to become a motivated seller, which is a buzz word buyers look for when searching for potential homes, especially when they're being given more and more houses from which to choose. If you're going to attract a buyer quickly, you've got to be conscientious in marketing your home. Here are four home selling steps to help you.
Clean to Sell
You'll need to spruce up and clean up your home. In a buyer's market, your home has to look its best at all times if it's going to stand out from the competition. Repaint your home, inside and out, to make it look and feel fresh and clean. Painting is the most cost effective improvement you can make when marketing a home.
Repair to Sell
Look around your house and repair, paint, or clean everything you see that will create a negative impression in a buyer's mind. If you've lived in your home for a long time, it can be very helpful to ask a friend to walk through and make comments on the things they see that you might have missed simply because you've lived with them for so long.
Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. These are deal breakers if they're not spotless and inviting, so keep them clean and uncluttered. They're the two most important rooms in a house, as far as buyers are concerned, so don't neglect them.
Stage to Sell
Besides deep cleaning and decluttering, consider home staging strategies. Take the best feature in your home and play it up so that home shoppers remember your home more than the others they preview.
Price to Sell
Start by making sure your price is very competitive. Thus far, 2006 hasn't been a year for testing the water. It's been a year for becoming a fiercely competitive seller, and one of the tools at your disposal is the price of your home. If you're not prepared to be realistic about your home's price, chances are you should stay put and wait for the market to improve.
It's a much tougher market out there in 2006 than it has been in the past five years, so if you want to become a successful seller, you'll have to adopt new strategies to give your home an edge in a buyer's market.
Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher
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Home Staging Expert Jeanette Fisher teaches home sellers five ways to get top dollar for their home. Home Staging Information