By Raymond James
About the Author:
Ray is a sought after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.
Because of the expense involved, selling a home in any economy can be difficult. However, in a recession, only properties sold in a certain manner will sell. The reason goes beyond the fact that people have less money in a recession. Of course, this impacts buying and selling real estate. However, in a recession, buyers diminish in part because homes no longer represent what people need, which is stability, security, and comfort. If your home is not perceived as providing any of these basic needs, you might be waiting until the recession ends for your home to sell. Even worse is the fact that after the recession, normal homes might be selling for quite a bit less than they once used to.
For any potential home buyer, you should ensure your home looks as if he or she could move in without having to do a single thing. Things in a recession are tough, so there might actually be a lot of inventory in any particular market--in spite of the fact that not many people are buying. In such a case, your home needs to attract buyers who might have a lot of options. To do so, you should ensure you adhere to the basics of selling a home.
- landscaped yard
- fresh paint
- maintained mailbox
- tidy rooms, preferably empty
- updated kitchen
- neutral paint schemes with freshly painted trim
As a seller, you should take all opportunities to repair and renovate your home. Minor renovation projects might normally be something you might leave for a buyer. However, in a recession, you should ensure to beat the competing homes by updating or fixing the gutters, painting and maintaining your deck or patio, and fixing any dings in the drywall. Anything that an inspector will pass that a home buyer might notice should be fixed.
Of course, once you have your home fixed and once the curb appeal is top notch, you need to find the best real estate agent you can. To do so, you should find an agency that has experience selling homes in your area, and you should read online reviews to see an agent's past performance with buyers and sellers. Before choosing an agent, it is even okay to shop around within the same agency as someone might have a better schedule or a better idea of how to market your home.
In terms of getting people into your home to view it, a Realtor is your best bet. In a recession, there is often no real way to sell a home by yourself as a typical homeowner does not have the experience in dealing with buyers shopping in a slow economy. As a result, many opportunities will proceed down the street to similar homes with more convincing representation.
Whenever you are selling your house, a potential buyer wants to be able to quickly assess the home and determine whether the space will fit the needs of the entire family. With this in mind, staging should be strategic and kept to a minimum. For instance, a houseplant placed near a window in an otherwise empty room can feel inviting and warm without also feeling overbearing. In this instance, a buyer will feel the plant while also being able to ignore it as he or she goes around the room and checks the windows and closets.
In terms of a kitchen, the appliances serve as props. These should be newer models. A modern kitchen has the best chance of hooking anyone who cooks. Bedrooms should be empty as they are smaller rooms. A garage can have a work table, and a patio can have furniture. An eating area can also have a small table, but you want to be careful about crowding any small spaces or obstructing someone's ability to visualize the family furniture placed throughout the house.
There are not many perks a seller has to offer, but the ones available are persuasive. For instance, a pre-purchased home inspection will save a buyer hundreds of dollars, and it will answer any questions he or she might have. Additionally, a pre-purchased inspection shows the seller is being forthright.
Another important perk is the willingness to pay for part of closing costs. Depending on your budget, the closing costs can be paid for by negotiating a slightly higher sales price. The price will add only a few dollars per month to a buyer's mortgage, and it will save a few thousand dollars in upfront fees.
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