March 18, 2011

Selling Your Home in a Buyer's Market

Let's face it, we all know this is one of the toughest times our country and real estate has endured and if you are a home seller, this is a very tough time indeed.  Selling is all about supply and demand.  Our supply is high and inundated with Short Sales, foreclosures, aggravated by job loss and and therefore, demand is low.    Even historically low interest rates and phenomenal prices aren't baiting the buyers.  But there are homes selling, so what makes the difference between those selling and those sitting on the market?  Here are a few other reasons why your property is still on the market.


House unpresentable -

First impressions do make a difference.  You want to be able to grab that buyer hopefully before they even walk in the door.  If a buyer drives up to your property and there is "stuff" all around your house, chances are that the interior is not going to be much better.  It is vital these days that your home is " spruced up".  Just as we do when selling a car or other item, we clean it, detail it, freshen it up.  Well, a house is no different.  A fresh coat of paint, making sure the dishes are cleaned and put away, that the bath is clean and wet towels at least hung up to dry, not left on the floor, no clothes lying around, everything must be put in its place.  In this competitive market, you have to strive even more to make your home stand out amongst all the other inventory.  How is YOUR home going to stand out??  Yes, neat and tidy and picture perfect will make a good First Impression.


Location - unavoidable

Unfortunately there are some properties that, although you are doing everything to make your home appealing, it may be in an undesirable location, i.e. next to a freeway or on a busy road, or next door neighbors junk that will bring your value down. So the best option you have, if possible, is to be competitive with your price.  I'll discuss this later.


Uncooperative Sellers -

Could this be you??  If  you are occupying your home while also trying to sell it, this can prove to be difficult with schedules and availability, but if you are serious about selling your home, you must do what it takes in this market to get that buyer in your home. Try to be flexible and realize that it only takes one buyer. Most agents and their buyers are respectful and  flexible and realize the inconvenience placed on home sellers.  True story:  Called to make an appt. for a showing  24+hours in advance and the seller was not willing to let us look at his home because of a football game. He didn't want to miss watching it on TV.  No wonder his home has been on the market over a year!

Overfurnished or Empty -
Statistics show that a staged home will sell quicker than one not.  If you are occupying your home, pare it down.  An over furnished home will look crowded and busy, and therefore the buyer will not be able to see themselves in this home.    On the other hand, a vacant home is too bland and lacks character.  Staging a home will give the buyer an idea of how the home would look furnished, but not too much.  It accessorizes the home, as you would accessorize your wardrobe.  Can you distinguish between the two below?  Which one would you be more interested in?

Unique homes -

If you live in a truly unique home( not traditional or even cookie cutter) it could take longer to find just the right buyer for your home.  So be realistic to the type of home you may have. Think of it this way, a unique home needs a unique buyer.



Price -  $$$
I left the most important for the last.  Price is EVERYTHING when selling a home.  It is important to be realistic to what your market is.  Remember I spoke of Supply and Demandearlier.  With Supply up and demand low, the prices are driven down.  We are in a very different market now with prices down considerably than two years ago.  If you feel that you want to get the highest value out of your home, you can plan on staying in it longer.  Consider why you are selling.  Is it for a job relocation? to be closer to family? to retire and travel?  maybe you are sitting on investment property and want to liquidate.  Whatever your reason, I'm sure you don't want to wait too long to move forward with the next phase of your life.  Pricing your home competitively will help it sell quicker.  My suggestion is listen to your Realtor and price your home in regard to market value.


It is a tough time, but with patience and knowledge and a good Realtor to guide you, you will succeed at selling your home.

For more information regarding Bellingham Homes for Sale, selling your home or if you are an interested buyer feel free to contact me at 360-303-3898 or email me at


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