You Can Sell Your Home in a Flat Market

You Can Sell Your Home in a Flat Market
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    Let''s face it: renovating a home may not be on your list of favorite things to do. Although our main thrust here is home renovation we understand that the best decision for some homeowners is to move, with that new home offering the right size, amenities and look that they want.

    Besides, when you get to your new home you'll find a project or two to do handle and we'll be here to help.

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When selling your home is more appealing than renovating.

Selling your home is a whole ‘nutter matter, something that is more of challenge when the market is flat. Just as it is right now. That means you’re going to have to work extra hard to sell your home, starting with its curb appeal. Read on and we’ll look at what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell.

1. Beautify your yard — No buyer will bother to cross your home’s threshold if the yard is not in order. The inside of your home might be pristine, but they won’t see that if your yard puts them off. Keep the grass trim and fill in patches with grass seed. Even if your yard has many bare spots, if you overseed and place line fencing around the yard, then potential buyers will see that your yard is on the mend. Trim bushes, cut dead tree limbs and plant flowers to beautify your lawn.

2. Enhance the entryway — Now that you’ve gotten visitors to admire your lawn, their eyes will immediately head to the main entranceway of your home. You’ll want an entrance that is welcoming and not just a welcome mat will do. Paint the door, put in place a seasonal wreath and declutter the area around the front door to make sure that it is inviting.

3. Spic and span — It can be difficult to keep any house clean. In the spring, pollen can get tracked in. In the summer it is grass clippings. In the fall it is leaves and in the winter months it is snow and mud. This means having a vacuum cleaner handy and using a broom to sweep out bathrooms and the kitchen. Wipe down walls, mop floors and clean windows just before home lookers stop by. Your home should have a clean smell. Yes, bake some cookies to give it a warm, inviting atmosphere.

4. Remove the clutter — Ah, you certainly love your creature comforts! Unfortunately for you, your real estate agent doesn’t and has recommended that you thin out the furniture herd. With fewer pieces in any given room, your rooms will appear larger than they are. This isn’t done to fool people, but to give the correct perception of the room’s size. If you can’t part with certain pieces, place these in the attic or in storage. You may need to remove paintings, photographs, floor lamps or other pieces. A real estate agent with an eye toward organization can help you here.

5. Clear counters and more — Related to the fourth point, but deserving its own point is counter clearing. That means going into your kitchen and putting away most everything that sits on top of the counter. This can include a blender, cookware, a lazy suzy, your child’s art project and more. Leave out a coffeemaker and a toaster, but little else. Then go into the living room and declutter the fireplace mantel, the television stand, your bookshelves and other surfaces. Don’t stuff anything into overcrowded closets, but do find places to keep your favorite things until after your home has been sold.

6. Fix it and prep it — Look at the inside of your home from the vantage point of a buyer. An objective friend can help you here. If a fixture is worn or broken, replace it. If a wall needs to be refreshed, paint it. Clean the curtains, replace a broken blind, mend a torn carpet (and clean it too), tighten a leaky faucet and clean a dirty vanity. Fresh flowers strategically placed in a room can become a wonderful focal point and give that room some much needed “lift” that it might otherwise not have.

7. Know your market — You’ve done everything right to this point, but this is where all of your efforts can go for naught. If you’re using a real estate agent to market your home, find someone who has an excellent reputation and is intimately familiar with the local market. Not just the general market, but your neighborhood and your street. Even then, you should know what the going rate of homes are in your area, something you can find by visiting Zillow.com and plugging in your address. You’ll also want to visit RealtyTrac.com to find how the foreclosure market is in your neighborhood. Multiple foreclosures can limit what you’ll get for your home.

8. Market aggressively — Know that you know what market is like and what your home is worth, price and sell your home aggressively. This may mean pricing it just below market value to solicit the most offers. For example, if your home is worth $187,000, then price it at $179,900 to attract interest. Provided that your home is in stellar condition, you should receive one or more offers even in a flat market. Word will get out that your home is priced to sell and interested bidders will show up. Instead of dropping the price from $187,000, you may get multiple offers and realize a higher price that way. Even if you have only one offer, sell your home to the first qualified buyer who is willing to pay closest to your asking price.

Will each of these eight steps help you sell your home? They should especially if you put in much effort to accomplish each step, paying special attention to the seventh point so that you can reach the eighth point successfully.

See AlsoHow to Sell Your Home in a Lousy Market

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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".