Selling In Slowing Housing Market

The red-hot real estate market has cooled off considerably, which isn't good news if you've got your house on the market.

The latest government reports on sales of new and existing homes give the clearest evidence yet that the decade-long housing bubble may well be bursting.

But on The Early Show Friday, author and Wall Street Journal reporter June Fletcher suggested some things you can do to up your odds of selling your house, even now. And you probably haven't heard of several of them.

Fletcher, who's out with a book called "House Poor: Pumped Up Prices, Rising Rates, and Mortgages on Steroids: How to Survive the Coming Housing Crisis," told co-anchor Rene Syler she thinks there's a big shift coming in housing. People will be buying a home to live in, not necessarily because it's a potential gold mine or investment.

In "House Poor," Fletcher gives practical advice to sellers and prospective buyers on how to gauge, and wade through potentially troubled real estate waters.

As for selling in this market, Fletcher says, "You're going to have to do some work." Long gone are the days when houses went in one day, and for the asking price or more.

Pointers she gave on The Early Show included:

SET YOUR PRICE REALISTICALLY

How do you know how to price your house? Fletcher says, "Look at what other similar houses in the neighborhood are selling for and then set your price at 10 percent under the market.

"This is a counterintuitive move," she admits, but, "by setting your price 10 percent under the market, your home will get more attention. You'll get more people looking at your home and you'll create a sense of urgency to get people to act to buy. This urgency, and a greater number of people looking at your home, drive up the price by creating a bidding war for it." Fletcher says she's seen people get more money than they would have with a higher asking price by initially asking for 10 percent less.

She adds, "You have to do something to distinguish yourself in a shrinking market and lowering the price will do that."
  • Brian Dakss

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