In a market flooded with foreclosures and distressed inventory, I have been counseling my sellers lately to do the work up front – to have their home pre-inspected, cleaned, staged… and to make it shine compared to the competition from day one.
Asking sellers to put some time and money into a property before listing it isn't for everyone. I do turn down listings when I feel a seller isn't committed to appropriately marketing his or her property... but as Brian Buffini, one of my lifelong real estate mentors, says, "I would rather turn you down now than let you down later".
Under $250,000, there is no shortage of buyers right now. This is where the best values in our market are found, where foreclosures are concentrated, and where values have eroded the most over the past few years.
But for those sellers who want to sell and have the equity to do it, selling now is an easier proposition than it has been in several years... as long as you do it the right way. Buyers are tired of deferred maintenance, difficult short sales and trashed foreclosures.
With the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit driving entry-level buyers into the market in large numbers, there is an opportunity for "traditional" sellers to get a great outcome right now. But you have to look at the market through a buyer's eyes, and understand the challenges and frustrations they face in dealing with so much competition.
We are living in a fear-based economy, and if you can eliminate a buyer's fears by showing that your property is everything it appears to be (and more), you'll see a better offer in a shorter period of time.