Improve Your Chances of Selling Your Home

Wednesday, Oct 1, 2008

As the real estate market continues its descent, home sellers are becoming more innovative.  The days of setting up a "for sale" sign are long gone.  For people who have "selling home" on the top of their priority list, tactics like home staging and house trading are becoming useful.

Desperate times don't always call for desperate measures; sometimes, they just call for innovation and intelligence.  In today's housing market, selling real estate takes a mixture of all three.

Two methods for selling real estate have been gaining popularity.  The first is home staging, a tried and true technique that can be used whether you're using a realtor, or if your home is "for sale by owner."  The second method is the increasingly popular alternative of house trading.

Home staging:  Let them think it's theirs


Marketing is all about perception.  Whether your house is "for sale by owner" or listed by a realtor, you still need to develop a strategy for influencing a buyer's perception of the house.  Home staging can help.

Home staging is the art of transforming a home's décor so that prospective buyers can visualize themselves living there.  While not always popular with homeowners who have an emotional attachment to their dwelling, this methodology helps buyers see themselves actually owning the house.

The key to this approach is to remove both clutter and any type of personal belongings from the home.  De-cluttering gives the house a neat, clean appearance, and makes it feel larger. By removing such personal belongings, you take the first step in transferring ownership.  Take down family pictures or religious artifacts that you have in the house.  You'll also want décor that's very neutral, and doesn't feature one distinctive style.
                                                                      

Trading houses:  Swap instead of sell               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
As the housing market tightens, a new practice called house trading has become increasingly popular.  Instead of listing your home on the market, you can visit a house trading website.  These match prospective traders, not unlike the way a computer dating service works.  To make a match, they take into account location, house style, and a variety of other preferences.

The matchmaking is an ideal way to remove a realtor's commission from the process.  In many cases, the deal is simply worked out between the two parties.  For a family who simply needs a change of venue, and doesn't want to go through the rigorous house selling process, this could be a viable alternative.

The real estate market is not for the faint of heart.  Even industry veterans are reeling from the turbulent economy and the stagnant inventories.  For the smart homeowner, alternatives to the traditional "for sale" sign are in order, and they include such breakthrough ideas as home staging and home trading.  In today's market, only the smart will survive, and they'll do it by using these types of innovative tactics.
 

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