The seller's market that has been the rule in real estate of late is giving way to the buyer. So if you have to sell, how can you make sure you get the most for your house? Ray Hennessey, editor of Smartmoney.com, offers some advice.
Hennessey explains it's not necessarily a time to panic during this real estate cool-down. If you were just thinking about selling a second home, there is no need to worry. However, "if you are moving or you got a change in circumstances trying to sell the home, I don't think it's time to panic, but you have to deal with the reality that you are no longer in control," he says. You will need to work to sell your home.
One tip to get people in the door to look at your home is give it "curb appeal." You may be competing with not only another home in your neighborhood, but even another home on your block. "Make sure your house is inviting," Hennessey says. "Make sure you are doing gimmicky things. Throw a couple of balloons out there. Anything to draw attention to your house for the people who are driving by to see." Also, make sure your front yard is pristine so you can catch their eye.
Secondly, make sure you fix everything before you list on the market. "Not just fixing the leaky faucet," explains Hennessey, "but also doing the renovations you've always figured for the house." You really need to take that extra step to spend some money to sell your house.
And finally, be prepared to give up on price and bring it down. "Don't make the significant cut until it's six months on the market," Hennessey adds. "After that six months' time really rethink the valuation and trust your instincts."
The real estate market looks to be a buyers market for the long term for the future. Interest rates are predicted to stay high, and it will be the buyer who is making the calls.
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by Jenn Eaker
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