Recently, MSNBC surveyed a number of Realtors nationwide, asking "In a weakened housing market, what can sellers do to stand out from the competition?" While a number of factors play into the decision to purchase a particular property, sellers can take steps to make themselves stand out in the marketplace.
The most important factor that a seller can control is price. Overpriced properties sit on the market longer, and typically do not receive offers. Even if they do receive offers, in many cases they will fail appraisal by the buyer's lender. In today's opportunistic market buyers' seek value and bang for their buck - making sure you are priced competitively against not only comparable properties on the market but also against recent comparable home sales.
There's also the issue of competing against foreclosures and short sale properties which are typically cheaper than a standard property for sale. However a well maintained, well priced property has its advantages over a foreclosure or short sale. A person who actually has a stake to gain in selling their home is more likely to keep the lawn alive and keep the home in good repair then someone who is in foreclosure. There's fewer layers of decision making in a ‘standard' home sale, and there is more room to negotiate home inspection issues with a ‘standard' home sale, where as a foreclosure or short sale is typically sold ‘as-is'.
Another way to stand out from your competition is through online marketing. Multiple detailed high resolution photos, virtual home tours and a presence on both online real estate sites and your Realtor's social networking site will increase exposure, attracting more buyers and help generate interest in your property.
If all other steps fail you may want to try leasing your home as it is a great way to bring in some money if you absolutely have to leave your home. However, you should be aware that many people lease because they were affected by the housing crisis and some have had their credit impacted, leaving them unable to buy.
The MSNBC survey seemed to focus on real estate markets that have been deeply impacted by foreclosure. In Central New Jersey we have not been immune to foreclosures; however we have not been as adversely affected as some markets in the country. Every home selling situation is different - a Realtor can help you navigate today's market and provide guidance