As most owners of Jersey Shore real estate have realized by now, this is not the ideal time to try to sell a house. With a struggling economy and negative media surrounding the housing market, more and more homes are staying on the market for longer and longer as fewer buyers are out making offers. So what should you do if you are in a situation where you need to sell your home now? The Wall Street Journal offers the following tips that I hope you’ll find helpful:
1. Don’t wait around.
Even in the better housing areas, it’s taking a long time to sell houses; so, don’t try to sit out the market. That’s what hundreds of other timid sellers are doing, each of them hoping — somehow, some way — that hanging on the sidelines will improve prices and, ultimately improve the chances of a successful sale. It won’t. If you want your place sold, the best way to make sure that happens is to put it up for sale.
2. Fix it up and clean it up.
Buyers are taking your house out on a date. It has to make a good impression.
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) spend a lot of money, but ensure everything is in good working order. As you get closer to the date that the house is actually on the market, start moving out by decluttering – buyers don’t want to see a house filled to the rafters with other people’s things.
3. Price it cheaply.
Don’t fight the market by trying to price your house at bubble-era levels or by factoring in all those improvements you made. In today’s market, your best bet is to set a realistic, salable price on day one. Don’t let the house hang around on the market as you gradually lower the price. Forget what you think the house should be worth or what it was worth three years ago. That’s not what it’s worth today.
4. Hire a top real estate agent.
Get the best listing agent you can find. When everything was selling before it even hit the market, of course, you didn’t need the best. Sellers of higher-end properties may be able to negotiate a lower commission percentage, but this is no time to quibble over a couple of percentage points. Also, offer the agent a big bonus if he or she sells the house in 30 days or at your asking price. Offer other agents bonuses if they bring in the ultimate buyer.
5. Promote. Promote. Promote.
The agent should pay the usual marketing costs, but you should be prepared to pony up for extras, especially if you insist on more expensive or untraditional promotions. Make sure your house is on the leading real-estate Web sites; Trulia, Zillow, Cyberhomes, Eppraisal and Realtor.com are some of the top ones.
Beyond that, get really creative. Advertise in corporate newsletters and intranet listings. Check in with local relocation firms that help transferring corporate executives find new homes. List the house on eBay. Put it on Craigslist. Put it in your church bulletin.
6. Play the banker.
As bad as things are, there’s one big factor in your favor: the tight credit market. If you have no mortgage you have to pay off, your strongest selling point might be your ability to finance all or a substantial part of a buyer’s purchase.
You’re a lot more flexible than a bank that has the Federal Reserve looking over its shoulders, so you might even be able to charge a higher interest rate than a commercial lender as well as command a higher sale price.
7. Take the offer.
If any qualified buyer comes in with a reasonable offer, be prepared to accept it.
Negotiate, of course, but recognize that the buyer has a lot more clout than you do. Your house, as wonderful as you think it is, is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
If you are considering selling your Jersey Shore real estate, let my experience work for you! Please call me at 201-788-3161, visit PatrickParkerHomes.com, or request a complimentary market valuation of your Jersey Shore home.