Household Woes Continued: Selling a Home in a Buyer’s Market

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This week, Penny revisits last week’s question to sum up her thoughts!

Dear Penny:

My husband and I have a daily commute to work that is over an hour long each way, and now that we have had our first child, it’s making juggling time much more difficult. We decided to sell our house so that we can live closer to our jobs, but after 12 months on the market, we haven’t received any offers at all. Our house is beautiful, and is practically show room quality, but still no takers. What can we do to either sell this house or to relieve the stress of such a long commute?

Help us Penny!

Penny Says:

I hoped to save the latter, weightier half of this question a week so I could think on an appropriate answer. In regards to your supplication for advice on selling you home more quickly I hate to tell you this, but I have nothing useful for you that I am sure you haven’t already heard. Here are my top 5 suggestions for promoting your real estate though. I hope this helps you at least keep your sanity during this stressful time period!

1. You say the inside of your house is showroom quality, but what about the outside? Don’t under estimate curb appeal! It maybe that the inside of your house is a hidden gem, and oasis from a chaotic world, a secret retreat that anyone would love, but if the front of the house looks like and overgrown, under- tended, Vincent Price era scare fest, you may be chasing away potential buyers.

2. Go with a real estate agent you trust. And stay in contact with them. Provide current pictures of the inside and outside of the home to your real estate agent so they can get you on national listing sites and best promote your home. Click here to chat with a great real estate agent for the Baltimore/DC Metro area.

3. Make sure your home feels like home. Are there candles that smell like chocolate chip cookies burning during the open houses you are holding? Are the floors clean, the bathrooms neat, the carpets scrubbed? Don’t under estimate the power of something is small as a lingering smell coming in between you and a closing date. Here are some more neat ideas to spruce up your home for less!

4. Be objective about your home. Yes, this home means a lot to you- maybe it was your first home, maybe you had your first child here, maybe your grandfather built it. But everything that endears this house to you needs to be forgotten when evaluating your home for the real estate market. Every crack, all the peeling wallpaper, ever creaky floorboard that you cherish can become a nuisance to a new home buyer.  Remember, you want your “Cozy, 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath rancher, in a safe neighborhood with all amenities and upgrades” to appeal to someone who is looking to create the memories you have already stored in the house for themselves; You don’t want the imperfections that you find charming to weigh negatively on anyone looking for a new home.

5. Relax! It is a rough market now to be selling a home, but an incredible market in which to look for and purchase a new home. Someone will come along who will fall in love with your house for the same reasons you did. Just make sure that the front walkway is neat and appealing enough to entreat them to come inside, that you’re ready to show when they are ready to look, and that you trust your real estate agent to work on your behalf.

I hope all of this information helps you at least feel more confident as you go forward with selling your home. I wish you the best of luck and remember this simple fact above all- you’re not alone. Many houses are for sale now, but your house is the best house for its future owners. Give them a little time; they will find you.

penny b Household Woes Continued: Selling a Home in a Buyers Market

For the answer to the other half of this week’s question, click here.

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