How to Compete with Foreclosures

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties

The best line of this is not to expect to get more because you've made all these changes but that they are necessary to even get to the point of a sale!

Original content by Karen Bernetti

Discouraged home sellers often ask me how their home can possibly compete against low-priced foreclosed properties in their neighborhood. My answer - the same way Neiman Marcus competes with Walmart.  They're really is no competition - just different products and different buyers.  There are different kinds of home buyers.  Sellers, you need to think about which kind you want to attract.

Home buyers and sellers alike are frequently shocked when they learn the condition of many foreclosed properties. Dilapidated foreclosures often have major issues such as water damage, mold, broken windows and missing plumbing fixtures, just to name a few.

Do you really think it's difficult to compete against this? If your house is LIVABLE, then you already have a distinct advantage. Of course I highly recommend you strive for better than just livable (more on that in a moment).

Distressed properties attract buyers who don't worry about a home's condition because they're willing to fix just about anything. We usually call these buyers INVESTORS or rehabbers.  If you want to attract price-conscious investors, just sell "As Is" with a below market, rock-bottom, bargain-basement price and one of these buyers will sniff your house out in no time.

Then there are the buyers who don't fit into the investor or professional rehabber categories. Many of these buyers are called first-time home buyers (by the way, did you know that according to the National Assoc. of Realtors first-time buyers made 50% of the home purchases in 2010?)  Most first-time home buyers prefer a house that's "move in" ready and tend to pass on houses that need even minor repairs or updates.  Of course they want a great price, but most are willing to pay a little more for a house that's in optimal condition. 
If you'd like to attract these kind of buyers, read on....

There are simple steps you can take to make today's smart, savvy, well-educated, quality-conscious buyers fall in love with your home.  These steps are simple but they are not easy.  They require time and effort but the good news is they're typically not that expensive.

To attract quality-conscious buyers .... you must offer a quality product. Your house must be cleaner than it's ever been.  The dated wallpaper [in most cases] must go. The hardwood floors beneath that old shag carpet should be revealed. Bold decorating statements need to be neutralized.  It's amazing the way a fresh coat and paint can give a house a whole new look and feel! De-cluttering and organizing must be done - among other things. A professional real estate stager can evaluate your home and help you prioritize exactly what it needs. And if you're a do-it-yourselfer, Ready2Sellin30Days System will guide you step by step through the entire process of getting your house ready to sell for top dollar.

After that hard work is done, a realistic price tag obtained by a reputable Realtor is an absolute MUST. Here's the kicker: don't expect a higher list price because you've made these preparations to your home! You must do these things simply to get what it's worth - and avoid settling for less than what it's worth because your house sat on the market for too long. 

Don't worry, your potential buyers probably won't be flocking to the dilapidated foreclosure down the street - they're more than likely be holding out for that house that is in the BEST condition. It's well worth the time and effort to give buyers what they want. Remember Zig Ziglar's famous promise...."You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." 

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Karen Bernetti is a Real Estate Stager, Former Realtor®, Author, Speaker, and Owner of Staging4Smooth Transitions - specializing in assisting seniors with their downsize moves.  

Karen is also the Co-creator of the Ready2Sellin30Days® System - an innovative, interactive, multi-media educational program designed to teach do-it-yourself homeowners EVERYTHING they need to know about preparing a home for sale during tough economic times.  Visit to learn more. 

Stay up to date on all the latest real estate staging and home decor trends with The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann BlogSign up here to receive The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann Newsletter!

Karen Bernetti is also the "Resident Stager" at North Star Real Estate, in Southington Connecticut, where every listing comes with a complimentary Home Staging consultation.  Call 860-302-0333 for more information.

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If you are looking to buy or sell a home here or in one of the other lovely surrounding Bethesda real estate communities, please start your search by calling me, a Bethesda Realtor. 

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Serving the Greater Bethesda real estate, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Kensington area communities and other surrounding areas.

I'm available to help you!

Josette Skilling

Associate Broker & Co-Founder

Urban Tree Properties, Keller Williams Capital Properties
7801 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Cell: 301-385-9213
Office: 202-780-7570

Urban Tree Properties

Copyright © 2015 by Josette Skilling

Bethesda Real Estate

Comments (1)

Charles Gardner-Realtor/Investor
ZIP Realty, Inc-Houston District - Humble, TX

Hello Josette,

Great information and a good marketing piece.

Apr 02, 2011 03:37 PM