2006 08 01 Archive

By Scott Epstein

I think most people would agree that today’s real estate market is a buyer’s market. So what does that mean? Simply put, the supply of homes exceeds the demand. Generally in a buyer’s market homes tend to have longer market times and prices do not appreciate as much, and in some cases even decline.

So how do you sell your home in a buyer’s market? Start by speaking with a few real estate professionals in your area about the current real estate market and trends in your neighborhood. They will also be able to provide you with a list of homes that have recently sold, as well as, homes that are currently on the market, so you have an idea as to what your home is worth in today’s real estate market.

Now that you have an idea what your home is worth, and assuming you still wish to sell, it’s now time to get your home in selling condition. Start by removing clutter and either washing or painting the walls. Too much clutter can make a room appear smaller than what it actually is. Painting is also a good idea, stay with neutral or light colors as they generally make a room appear brighter. Next, clean up the exterior of the home. Curb appeal is extremely important and can really make a difference in selling your home quickly. If a homeowner doesn’t take care of the outside of their home, what makes you think they take care of the inside?

Here are some additional tips for getting your home sold in a buyer’s market:

– Be flexible. Try to accommodate as many showings as possible. Also, try to be flexible in regards to a closing date.
– Offer incentives. If your flooring is worn, or your appliances are outdated, don’t be afraid to offer an allowance or credit. I do not recommend replacing either as everyone’s taste is different.
– Include photos and/or a virtual tour with your listing.
List your home with a real estate professional to maximize your home’s exposure. Make sure your home is included in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) , Realtor.com, and print advertisements.
– Get a home inspection. Generally a home inspection is done after you’ve accepted an offer, but nothing kills a deal quicker than an unexpected issue during the home inspection. This way there shouldn’t be any surprises once you have an accepted contract.

About the author: Scott is a licensed Realtor® and is the president of Realty Resources LLC and Co-owner of: Chicago IL Real Estatewww.IllinoisRealEstate.com