Yes, You Can Sell Your House in This Economy

Posted on September 18 By Francine Huff

It's been tough for many homeowners to sell their properties as the housing market has struggled. But there are plenty of homes being sold in communities all across the country. If you're scratching your head trying to figure out why your neighbor just sold her house at current market value but you can't get anyone to even take a look at yours, here are some tips that just may help.

  1. Clean up your mess. Some people seem to think that all it takes to sell a home is to put up a for sale sign and hold an open house. The fact is that you've got to go above and beyond what the next homeowner is doing to sell a home. There shouldn't be a lot of dirt and clutter in a home that is being shown to prospective buyers. If cleaning isn't your thing, hire a maid service.
  2. Do the smell test. No one wants to buy a home if it has unpleasant odors. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to open houses and been immediately turned off by the strong smell of cat urine, mildew, smoke or other odors. In addition to cleaning, open up some windows and air out the place before house hunters are scheduled to arrive.
  3. Pay attention to curb appeal. Peeling paint, overgrown weeds, rusty car parts, busted windows, and junk cluttering up the lawn can keep people from even stopping to look at your home. Even if you get folks looking at a home that is an eyesore, they're probably going to bid way below the asking price. Fix up your place so home buyers won't feel overwhelmed by all of the work that needs to be done around the place.
  4. Get your family members to leave during showings. When we were house hunting a few years back I remember going to a property where the homeowner's adult kids seemed resentful about the home being up for sale. Not only were they glaring at all the house hunters, but one guy was even asleep in one of the bedrooms and refused to get up! Make other plans when potential buyers come for a look.
It's not impossible to sell a house in this market. But you'll definitely need to be on your game to drum up some real interest from buyers. Consider throwing in an incentive, such as paying closing costs or offering a big-screen TV or new appliances.

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