Selling your home in a buyer’s market

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-119264785413981.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of ARA Content’, ‘“Sellers need to work with an experienced real estate professional who can help them establish a realistic value and price for their home”, said Lane Barnett, president and CEO of GMAC Real Estate Franchise Operations. “Setting a price that is unrealistic and too high can reduce agent and buyer interest, and can make other competing homes look like a better value.” ‘);

Selling a home can be a daunting task for any homeowner, and in a “buyer’s market” the process can feel overwhelming. While many sellers think that homebuyers have the upper hand, with a little patience and a few helpful tips from GMAC Real Estate, you can successfully sell your home.

The price is right—The No. 1 factor in the sale of your home, and one of the most critical elements of the sales process is setting the asking price. While you want to get the most appreciation from the sale of your home, you also want to be realistic when setting your price.

“Sellers need to work with an experienced real estate professional who can help them establish a realistic value and price for their home”, said Lane Barnett, president and CEO of GMAC Real Estate Franchise Operations. “Setting a price that is unrealistic and too high can reduce agent and buyer interest, and can make other competing homes look like a better value.”

On the flip side, it’s critical to not underprice your home when looking to sell. Your real estate agent will research and provide you with data on current market conditions in your area.

Remodel—Remodeling is a great way to increase your home’s value in a more challenging market. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom generally offers the highest percentage return on your initial investment according to numerous industry surveys. Another rule of thumb is to decorate your home so it appeals to the broadest number of potential buyers. Buyers generally prefer neutral, mainstream designs, so avoid bold colors or patterns or out-of-date designs that can make it harder to sell. New paint, a nicely mowed lawn and attractive landscaping can go a long way in enhancing your home’s curb appeal.

Identify potential problems—Hire a home inspector to help you identify any potential problems before you put your house on the market. Also, make sure your home complies with all local housing codes.

Presentation is key—The presentation of your home when you are listing it plays an important role in attracting a buyer. As with choosing an asking price, look at the condition of your home through a buyer’s perspective.

“Sellers need to understand the importance of how their home looks to prospective buyers and really need to put themselves into the shoes of the buying public,” said Barnett. “Potential buyers will examine every nook and cranny of your house as they begin to think about making a purchase.”

Overall marketing—Your real estate agent will prepare your listing for the multiple listing service as well as create an advertisement for the Internet and any materials that will be made available to those who visit your house. More and more, the first impression of your home that many potential buyers have comes from it being seen by buyers using the Internet. It is important to offer a wide variety of photos of both the inside and outside of your home. 360 degree virtual tours of your home are another popular choice to consider. Also, the description of your house needs to be accurate and complete to grab the attention of the potential homebuyer.

When selling your home, remember that an experienced real estate professional can not only help you sell your home for the highest price, but also in the shortest time. Your agent should serve as your trusted adviser, your skilled negotiator and your marketing coordinator every step of the way. From pricing to closing day, these professionals can make you a pro at selling in a buyer’s market. For more information or to find a Realtor in your area, go to http://www.gmacrealestate.com.

from the Oct. 17-23, 2007, issue

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