Can’t sell your house?

If you’re having trouble selling your home, ask yourself these simple questions.
What options have I tried? What are my circumstances? How does it look? How do I price my house?

Let’s start with the first question: What options have I tried? Most people who initially list their home for sale do so with a real estate agent. However, there are many that will go with a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) option. There are pros and cons with both. While real estate agents are there to help you, they are still looking to earn a paycheck. Many times you will be asked to put your house up for sale for an amount that is not reasonable, so no one is going to see your property. The positive side of using a real estate agent is that you can have a wider range of exposure and someone else is doing the work for you. If you choose to go with a real estate agent, I encourage you to continue doing your homework. Now take FSBO, this is good because you don’t have to pay 5-7% commission at the end of the day and you have full control of your property. However, your exposure to buyers is reduced. So what else can you do to advertise when you’re selling your FSBO home? Put an ad in local papers, put up signs around town and on your property, let everyone know you’re selling your house (referrals can sometimes be the best way), use the Internet ( There are many ways to sell your home yourself. You just need to be a little creative.

Second question: What are my circumstances? Whether your situation is vacant, facing foreclosure, relocated out of town, has bad tenants, expensive repairs, is behind on the mortgage, or just tired of the property and needs some cash now. There may be many reasons why you need or want to sell your home, but make sure you know what that reason is, as it will help you stay focused on your goal.

Third question: How does it look? Is it new, in need of repairs, or just old and outdated? That will make a big difference in the type of buyer you are looking for. Homes to fix up and old, outdated ones are what many investors and handyman buyers are looking for, so be sure to advertise them this way. It doesn’t mean your home has to be falling apart; it simply means that it is not new or updated. If it’s new and up-to-date, be sure to post it.

Fourth question: How do I price my house? Pricing your home can be tricky, so do some research. Depending on how your house looks, will largely depend on the price. If it’s new, you should be able to get a higher price than if it’s older. If it’s a fixer-upper, then you should price it 20% below market value, which is the price of newer homes. Go to your local property appraiser’s website and search for recently sold homes in your area. You can also go to to see compositions in your neighborhood. Then drive around your neighborhood and see what your neighbors are asking for for their homes. Then price yourself $5,000-10,000 less than them. This will help your property to sell much faster. Also take note of how the interior looks. Curb appeal is the first thing a buyer sees, enticing them to enter the home. If the inside of the house doesn’t look as good as the outside, you just missed the deal. So be sure to “stage” your house. Do some research at the library or on the Internet about staging your home. You’ll be surprised how much faster you’ll sell when it’s organized (and clean).

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