Tips on Selling Your Home in a Tough Market

The housing market is very competitive these days. There are an abundance of homes on the market, and lending standards are getting tighter. As a result, home prices are declining. So how can you best sell your home in this market?

Aside from getting a knowledgeable real estate agent to assist you with the transaction, here are some other guidelines to help you sell your property-fast.


Price your property right the first time. Many sellers still think they can reap the same profits they would have two years ago, when the real estate market was at its prime. This is just not true in today’s market. With so many homes currently on the market, buyers can-and will-shop around for the best deal. Setting a high price tag on your home is just another way to keep it on the market longer.


To sell your home in a decent time frame, research what homes in your area have recently sold for. The more recent the sales, the better, since housing prices are constantly fluctuating. By setting a competitive price at the onset of your sale, you increase the chances of selling your home more quickly. This method is more effective than setting an initially high price and then reducing the price of the home at a later date. By the time the price is reduced, potential buyers will no longer be interested in your home and may have already secured a great deal elsewhere.


Get a pre-inspection. Before putting your house on the market, have it inspected by a professional to determine what issues are noted with the home. Be proactive by making necessary repairs before listing your property for sale. While it is always a good idea to repair obvious maintenance issues, sprucing up your home by making cosmetic adjustments is a big plus with buyers as well. Examples of cosmetic changes include refinishing a wood floor or touching up the paint around the house.


Have the pre-inspection report available for serious buyers, as well as evidence that the repairs have been made. By doing this, the potential buyer will be impressed at the seller’s initiative in selling the home and be comfortable knowing that the home is in great condition and that the buyer won’t have to spend much money on repairing the home after they move in. This will ultimately lead to a smoother selling process.


Stage your property. Staging a home is all about dressing your house for sale-similar to wearing a nice business suit to a job interview. If two candidates for a job both have the same skills, qualifications, etc, but one candidate is wearing a professional, fitted black suit while the other has on a t-shirt and jeans, which candidate do you think will get hired?


Staging makes your house look larger, brighter, cleaner, and warmer. Best of all, it makes buyers want to buy your home. An important part of staging is to make sure every room is presented for its intended purpose. For example, if the home has three bedrooms, make sure the right furniture and accessories are in there to make them look like comfortable, cozy bedrooms as opposed to, say, a storage room. It is also very important to de-personalize your home-remove photos of your family and take down the kids’ artwork from the refrigerator.


If you don’t have the skills necessary to make the property look as appealing as you’d like it to be, hire a professional stager to do the job for you.


Get creative in your marketing. To successfully sell your home, you must effectively advertise your property. Think outside the box-getting exposure is the only way you will find a buyer. Many sellers are now advertising their homes for sale on websites such as, which has thousands of visitors each month. Other sellers are doing things such as holding twilight open houses-offering visitors access to the home during weeknights or evenings, as opposed to the traditional weekend time slots. Unconventional methods of marketing may be just the way your home will get sold.


Offer buyer incentives. Possible incentives for buyers include seller-paid closing costs (limited to the amount the lender will allow), new or slightly used appliances included with the sale of the home, or even a gift card to a home improvement or home décor store.


This is the final tip because buyer incentives should be the last thing you have to do to make your property more appealing. Assuming that you have effectively implemented all the tips listed above, the incentives should just be icing on the cake, as the buyers will already be in love with your home.