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10 Ways to Outsell Your Neighbors' Homes in this Down Market


Despite promises from financial analysts that the U.S. economy is getting back on track, the housing market is still very much struggling.

The current pending home sales index, a market indicator based on contracts signed for previously owned homes, was just 75.7 in June, down 2.6 percent from May, according to the National Association of Realtors. For comparison, the average level of previously owned home sales activity in 2001 was equal to an index of 100.

To sell your home, fast, make sure you’ve got the 10 steps below covered.

Likewise, existing home sales fell 5.1 percent in June, according to the National Association of Realtors, while new home sales year-over-year fell nearly 17 percent, the Commerce Department reported.

"The housing industry is slogging through a swamp looking for solid ground," Mitchell Hochberg, a principal at Madden Real Estate Ventures, told "With mounting foreclosures, growing consumer pessimism and a rise in inventory, the only path to recovery is an increase in employment."

This is unwelcome news for the millions of Americans who are trying to sell their homes in one of the worst markets in U.S. history. But there is hope …

10 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast, at a Higher Price than Your Neighbors' Homes, Even in a Down Market

In many U.S. locales, there are far more homes for sale than buyers, creating a foundational problem where supply has overtaken demand. How can you ensure that your home sells fast, even if your neighbors’ homes have been sitting on the market for months?

1. Price Wisely: There is perhaps no better way to sell a home fast than to price it right. In today’s market, this typically means taking into account foreclosures in your area, which will drive prices down significantly.

"People who price their homes to the market are selling them in a reasonable amount of time, but people who cling to 2004 or 2005 prices aren't," Richard Smith, president and CEO of Realogy, the parent company of Century 21, ERA, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby's International Realty, told USA Today. "If you take into account (bank-owned property) pressures, you'll sell pretty quickly."

We at SixWise have learned that some home seller realtors have very aggressively effectively guided their sellers to price their homes low at first or slightly below market prices, but then raised the price shortly after (based on the high buyer realtor traffic coming through the home plus the stated interest).

Then again they increased the price a second time above market price and sold the home quickly based on buyers who wanted the home and were fearful of the price going up even more. This they stated effectively gained more positive inquiries as to why the price kept going up, questions from buyers concerned that the price might be raised again, and so on while other homes down the block were going down in price. Initial higher traffic followed by continued higher interest worked well for the seller and realtors, they said.

Whatever strategies you use it is definitely important to find ways to differentiate your offer from others plus to gain interest and offers resulting in a price that is most reasonable for you while attractive for buyers.

The one concern to be aware of is that even if you receive and accept an offer way above market pricing in your area, you then can possibly have difficulties later with the buyer’s lender’s valuation being below that of the price agreed upon, which can kill the buyer’s ability to gain a mortgage -- killing the sale even though a price was agreed upon by both the buyer and you.

These are challenging times, to say the least, which is adding new layers of complexity to the sale and purchase of homes.       

For best results, consult a realtor who can help you price your home competitively.

2. Make Your Home Standout: What makes your home more attractive, more desirable than your neighbor’s? It could be custom landscaping, an updated roof, a new patio to surround your in-ground pool or even freshly decorated room (in neutral colors that will appeal to a wide range of buyers). The more you can do to give your home an edge, the faster your home will sell.

3. Stage the Right Way: Before inviting potential buyers in for a showing, you’ve got to set the stage. Your home should not only be clean and inviting, but should be arranged to optimize space and flow. For instance, you may need to move (or remove) furniture to make a room look bigger, give walls a fresh coat of paint to remove scuffs and stains, and you should definitely clear out clutter and personal items. Other small touches, such a fresh flowers, scented candles and even a batch of freshly baked cookies can also add appeal. And don’t forget to keep unsightly items, like your cat’s litter box or garbage cans, tucked discretely out of view.

If priced right you will be getting lots of last-minute appointments daily and weekly for realtors wanting to show your home. Be certain to have healthy non-toxic cleaning materials around that you can use. We recommend making a small investment that will save you time and eliminate any need for toxic cleaners by using what is found in hotels and high-end nursing homes for the rich and famous such as commercial-grade PerfectClean HomePure Pack: Was $167.41 current special only $111.00 for (2) All Purpose Terry Cloths, (2) Super Silk Cloths, (2) Scrub & Clean Reversible Gloves; (1) Flexible Duster with (2) Duster Covers; (1) EasyGrip 16" wide Flat Mop System w/Ergonomic Handle & (2) Flat Mop Heads.

Get rid of any possible smells of mold from prior flooding, lingering smoke, prior day’s dinner odors like fish, garlic, etc. with a high-quality commercial grade air purifier.

A few small comparatively minor investments that you can later keep and benefit from after you sell your home can make all the difference in the world now! By simply getting these home sales tools that eliminate little issues that are otherwise “deal killers” that likely no one will ever tell you (so as not to insult you or they may perceive but not fully understand that they are the underlying impediments to buyers getting turned off) you can rectify these issues in advance easily and quickly now, to sell your home faster.

If you think your home needs some help to make it look appealing, you can even hire a professional stager to help you.

If you have purchased another home or moved out of your original home due to being transferred, etc. you might want to consider renting furniture to stage your home temporarily near the beginning of the year so that your home shows well in the spring when most homes buyers are looking and when most homes sell. Brook Furniture Rental provides top quality furniture for rent/lease. 

When selling your home, think about what you can do to make it stand out from your neighbor’s … updated landscaping, neutral decorating, staging your home with furnishings or an updated kitchen / appliances are all options to consider. However, align your investment with the market price to not add to your loss if your home is already underwater with the going market prices below the remaining amount of your mortgage.

4. Throw in Some Extras: It’s a competitive market, so offering to pay the buyer’s closing costs, contribute a couple thousand toward redecorating costs, or transfer a home warranty may make your home more attractive to buyers standing out from the rest. Some sellers even offer their own financing options.

5. Add Curb Appeal: First impressions should never be underestimated, and your home’s “first impression” is what the buyer sees from the curb. For this reason, make sure the front of your home is well landscaped and neatly maintained. A fresh coat of paint, a resurfaced driveway, and even a seasonally appropriate wreath or tastefully done porch decorations may also make your home more attractive to would-be buyers.

6. Make Your Home Move-In Ready: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simply Simple) leaving mostly open areas on mantles, tables, shelves, closets, vanities. Remove anything smaller than a breadbox. Take down all small knickknacks and items that in any way fill or clutter areas. Leave open empty spaces in closets, storage areas, etc. so buyers feel there is plenty of space that allows them to see themselves moving right in quickly and easily.

If your home has plumbing issues, leaks, prior flooding, mold, or broken appliances, it’s important to make those repairs ahead of time. This way buyers won’t feel that your home will be a burden by harboring hidden costs for repairs. Instead, they’ll feel they can move right in and feel right at home. Again, if there has been or are any smells like mold, burnt food due to current or previously broken appliances, or leaking foundation smells you should get rid of such smells including the lingering smell of smoke, etc. with a high-quality commercial-grade air purifier like Pionair.

7. Make Yourself Scarce: When a potential buyer comes to view your home, it’s generally best for you to not be there. If a seller is lurking, it can make buyers uncomfortable and they may not spend as much time really browsing through your home and discussing their thoughts openly. If you want to leave a welcoming touch, bake a batch of cookies and leave them on the kitchen counter for prospects to sample.

8. Considering a Renovation: If you are planning to sell once the market comes back up this could be a great time to remodel, especially if you can have a little time to enjoy it. Though remodeling can cost a pretty penny, it can provide significant returns when it comes time to sell your home -- if you do it right. The smartest home renovations include the kitchen, bathroom (especially the master bath), and new siding. Adding an extra bathroom or an extra room can also make your home much more attractive.

9. Offer a Bonus to Your Agent: Your real estate agent should be working hard to market your home creatively, but offering an extra incentive to the agent who finds you a qualified buyer can keep your home fresh in both your agent’s, and other agents’, minds. It may give area agents an extra incentive to show your home to their buyers.

10. Get Creative with Marketing: Word of mouth can be a great way to find just the right buyer, so again, while your agent should be doing most of your marketing for you, you can and should also take matters into your own hands. Place your home on and/or link local area websites like where you can post detailed descriptions and photos of your home (see the video below for essential tips), put the word out to your friends and acquaintances on Facebook and Twitter, or send a copy of your listing to your email contact list so those in your social circle know your home is for sale.

Using and/or to Sell or Rent Houses

Then after all is said and done…. simply kick back and relax with a Pure Relaxation CD, which you might also want to have playing softly in the background when prospective buyers tour your home to help them too feel relaxed and at ease while in your home.

You deserve to relax, as you can only do what you can do. Given all your efforts … when it is meant to be your home will sell well, being a healthy attractive well cared for home that shows the love and care you have given it!

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

“There is no such thing as a perfect house. (What one thinks of as perfection is merely what other people are living in.)”

--Phyllis McGinley

Recommended Reading

Amazing Facts about U.S. Homes & Home Owners, and the Most Common Styles of Home in the USA

How Burglars Target Which Homes to Rob, and How to Keep Yours Off Their Hit Lists!


Los Angeles Times August 4, 2010 July 29, 2010 July 26, 2010 November 29, 2007

MSN Real Estate

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