With less than two months to go before the end of the year, time is running out if you want to sell your house in 2012. Add to that the stress of juggling the holiday schedule, and you may think closing on your home before January is impossible. But with the right game plan, you can still find a buyer who will purchase your home before the year is over. While some will want to avoid driving around in the cold searching for the right home, and then taking tours this time of year, others might be looking to give themselves a holiday gift -- and your house just might be exactly what they're looking for! Plus, some prospective buyers want to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. So, how can you guarantee to remove the "For Sale" in the yard before the ball drops at midnight on New Year's Eve?
1. Price accordingly It's a real estate fact -- there are fewer buyers out there this time of year because people don't want to juggle their holiday plans with house-hunting. So, you need to be prepared to attract the limited number of prospective buyers that are house shopping now. One way to immediately turn them off is to overprice your home. Check the listing prices of similarly-sized homes in your local area, and price your house accordingly. If the buyer thinks your house is overpriced, they may not even schedule a viewing, but instead move on to a comparable house that is listed for much less.
How has home selling changed in 2012?
2. Pick the right realtor -- Don't interview just one candidate. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, two-thirds of sellers make the mistake of talking with only one real estate agent. You want someone who is going to be honest with you, even if it's not what you want to hear. Realtors sell homes for a living, so they know what buyers are looking for, current market trends, and what repairs and renovations need to be made to your home before you put it on the market. Ask friends and family for recommendations, but interview the realtor yourself to make sure they fit your individual needs.
How to Create the perfect listing
3. Hire a staging professional -- This time of year, many homeowners bring out holiday-themed décor. Items like turkeys and Fall leaves for Thanksgiving, and religious ornaments in December can be seen in houses around the country. But these items do not necessarily impress a potential buyer. In fact, they may be a turn off if they make your home appear cluttered! Hiring a staging professional is always a good idea, but especially if you're trying to sell your home in the fourth quarter of the year. That's because they'll know how to decorate your home for the holidays without going overboard. Sure, you'll have to spend money to hire a staging professional, but it may be the difference between your home selling or staying on the market, so it's a small price to pay if a buyer purchases your property.
4. Be willing to negotiate -- If a buyer loves your home, but isn't in love with the price, you need to be willing to negotiate. That doesn't mean selling the home for less than it's worth. It just means you should be willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Talk over every offer with your realtor, and present a counter offer. If that doesn't work, try some making some concessions -- like being willing to pay a portion of the buyer's closing costs, or paying for some of the renovations yourself instead of charging them for the cost. If they are serious about purchasing your home, you will be able to come to some agreement on the price, meaning you will accomplish your ultimate goal of selling the home before the year is over.
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