It’s finally here… 2013 is upon us, and with it come all of the hopes, good wishes, and optimism that experts have for America’s housing market. But if you want to tap into all of those good things for yourself and finally sell your home, you’re going to have to create your own set of New Year’s resolutions. Specifically, you need to make sure you stick to these 4:
1. Pay attention to trends
Prices have started going back up (ever so slightly, but up nonetheless!), so before you set an asking price, make sure it’s consistent with the most recent sales in your area. Even if you go back two months, you may be using completely outdated information – and costing yourself thousands of dollars in the process!
2. Don’t be afraid
Despite all of the housing market horror stories we’ve been hearing over the past five years, it looks like rock bottom is finally in the rear-view mirror. The number of foreclosures has finally started to go back down, buyers have started to emerge, and even investors have decided to come out of hiding. While things still have a long way to go, you don’t need to be terrified about putting your home on the market – like you probably would have been a few years ago (or even a year ago!). If you have decided that now is the time to sell, move ahead with confidence. Will you get as much money for your home as you would have before the recession? Of course not. However, there are definitely people out there buying, and someone will come along to buy your home, too.
3. Promise to use every tool available
Odds are home selling has changed considerably since the last time you went through it. These days, it’s not good enough just to plop a “For Sale” sign in your yard and wait for offers to come in. Instead, your realtor has got to use every tool possible – from Facebook, to YouTube, to detailed pictures, to virtual tours, to free listing websites. If your realtor isn’t doing all of those things, promise yourself that you’re going to find one who will!
4. Be realistic
Unless you live in a place where bidding wars have started popping up (like Southern California, Seattle, and even some instances in South Florida), you’re not going to have tons of buyers throwing money at you. Yes, prices are starting to go back up, but this isn’t 2005. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, you’re likely going to have to work for it – at the negotiating table. You’re also probably going to have to throw a few concessions the buyer’s way, too. For example, cover closing costs has become pretty standard in today’s housing market. And, depending on your buyer’s specific circumstances, there might be other things they want, in exchange for increasing the price – like tossing in the couch in your living room, ripping out the bushes in the front yard, or paying for the inspection yourself. If you’re not realistic about the expectations of today’s market, you may wind up turning away good buyers. And, the longer your home sits on the market, the lower your chances of actually receiving your asking price!
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