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Call Al Alvarez and Marisela Perera for Solivita Real Estate and
Florida's Gulf Beach's
By Stacey L. Bradford,
Associate Editor, SmartMoney.com
THE REAL ESTATE MARKET may be slowing, but that doesn't mean you can't sell your home. It just means you need to be savvy
and not fall prey to the common mistakes that home sellers often make.
Here are five mistakes to avoid:
(These are some of the things that we are trained to help you with...)
Asking Too Much
Questioning the First Offer
Not Responding to All Offers
Using a Home Stager
Picking the Wrong Buyer
1. Asking Too Much
The single biggest mistake folks make is setting their asking price too high. In a softening market homeowners need to price
conservatively or they risk turning off potential buyers, says Michael Corbett, author of "Ready, Set, Sold."
How should you set the price? Gone are the days when you can expect to sell your home for more than your neighbor did last
year. Single family home prices have fallen for three consecutive quarters and are now down 6.5% from their peak in 2006,
according to the National Association of Realtors. So rather than looking at how much homes in your area sold for six to 12
months ago, compare prices for similar properties currently on the market. If you see a listing for a house that's just sitting
unsold for a few months, chances are the owners are asking too much and you'll want to set your price a bit lower, says Corbett.
Click here for more help on setting the right price.
2. Questioning the First Offer
Too many sellers say no to their first offer, even if it's close to or at full asking price. Holding out for more money is a strategy that
rarely works, especially at a time when interest rates on mortgages are in flux and a potential buyer's purchasing power could
decrease. (For more advice on selling in a cooling market, click here.)
The reality is that in any market a home's first offer is often its best, says Elaine Clayman, a real estate broker with Brown Harris
Stevens. She says that's because educated buyers will pounce on a property they like -- with a competitive bid -- as soon as it
comes onto the market. And don't forget that the longer a home sits unsold, the greater chance a seller will have to reduce his
price to sell.
3. Not Responding to All Offers
What if you get an offer that's simply too low? Many homeowners will reject it outright. But it's a mistake not to respond to all
offers. Here's why. First, you can't blame someone for testing the market -- after all in today's market many buyers are confident
that they have the upper hand. Second, just entering into negotiations with one party gives you leverage with other potential
buyers, says Corbett. Most importantly, it allows you to tell brokers that your property is in play and sends a message that if
someone is interested he had better act quickly and present a very competitive bid. "Chances are the second offer will be close
to your asking," he says.
4. Using a Home Stager
Unless you're trying to sell a multimillion-dollar dwelling, you don't need to pay a professional to stage your home. There are a
number of free or cheap things you can do on your own to get your house into show condition. Most importantly, paint the walls.
Nothing does more to brighten up a place, says Peter Comitini, a real estate broker with Corcoran Group. Next, he recommends
getting rid of all the clutter, excess furniture and family knickknacks. Finally, make all the necessary repairs before your first open
house. If a buyer sees a small problem, say, a leaky faucet, he's likely to wonder about larger issues like the furnace or roof.
5. Picking the Wrong Buyer
Now more than ever, sellers need to select their buyers carefully. Thanks to all the defaults in the subprime market, lenders are
tightening their lending practices, making it more difficult for consumers to qualify for mortgages. So it's critical to find a buyer
who's prequalified for a loan.
Next, watch out for buyers who need to add contingencies to the contract, including a clause stating that the deal won't close until
they sell their own home. A better bet is to look for cash-flush first-time home buyers or someone who has already unloaded his
existing house. In a slowing market it's difficult to estimate how long it could take your buyer to find someone to purchase his
dwelling, warns Brown Harris Stevens' Clayman. And if that property doesn't go for as much as he expected, that person may no
longer be able to afford your agreed-upon price.
Click this address for more help on selling in todays market.
|Great article on selling in today's market