How to Compete with Foreclosures

Real Estate Agent with First Weber Inc WI LIC #125698


"Karen Bernetti is a Real Estate Stager, Former Realtor®, Author, Speaker, and Owner of Staging4Smooth Transitions - specializing in assisting seniors with their downsize moves."  Now here is a stager who really knows what she's talking about!  I found this post through sweet smart talented Joni.  Thanks Joni, without you reblogging it, I would have never found it!  And I am so glad I did!  Most excelent post Karen!


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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Laura S. Baker
(920) 728-4118



Realtor, First Weber Group
(920) 728-4118


Laura Baker is a Wisconsin Residential Real Estate Specialist that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in the South Central Wisconsin area; or any place else in the country by connecting you with a relocation professional in your destination of choice.

To find all available homes for sale

in the South Central Wisconsin, please visit

Call Laura S. Baker TODAY at 920-728-4118


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Laura S. Baker

Home Staging, Decorating and Color Expert. 

(920) 728-4118

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Comments (2)

Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

More than half of the buyer contacts I receive are first time home buyers.  They begin by asking to see homes for sale and because they want a "good deal", they want to see foreclosures.

They do NOT understand that foreclosures are priced as they are because they are DISCOUNTED for condition.

Of course, we include bank owned properties in our showings.  Fact is, by the time the buyer invests in the property to bring it to market condition, they have invested MARKET PRICE.

Some smart buyers who can manage to sweat a bit can benefit from sweat equity.  However, for the most part, first time home buyers are NOT prepared to make necessary repairs, upgrades, etc. to bring a property to market condition. 

Apr 06, 2011 11:35 PM
Laura S. Baker
First Weber Inc - Lake Mills, WI
Realtor (920) 728-4118, First Weber Inc

Excellent points made here Lenn!  I appreciate your addition to this re-blog.

Apr 06, 2011 11:42 PM