How to Sell Your Home in a Weekend

Services for Real Estate Pros with Barbara Corcoran Inc

You know your home has been for sale for over a month with not so much as even a low-ball offer, but you need to sell now. What’s the first thing I would do to sell your home this weekend?

Take It Off The Market

Odd as it may seem, one way to get your home noticed is to have it go away. Time in a buyer’s market is your worst enemy; the longer your house sits on the market, the less valuable it becomes. On the other hand, nothing’s more appealing than something that’s new. So take your home off the market, wait 10 days, and put it back on. But before you do, do a little homework. Find out the last sale price of a comparable home in your area. That price sets the new ceiling for buyers to bid against, so when you put your house back on the market make sure it’s 10% below that new price. Brokers will be calling their clients saying, “Have I got a deal for you!”

And by the way, don’t be afraid of under pricing your house. In a buyer’s market, you’ll simply look like a good deal, more than one buyer will make an offer, and if you’re lucky you’ll end up in an auction.

Make A Limited Time Offer

Everybody likes the things they have only a one-time chance at. And most people just hate living with a lost opportunity. That’s the psychology behind a one-day-only sale. Just think of it as the biggest garage sale you’ve ever had. Post 100 flyers around your area. Advertise your sale on (An ad costs only $25). Then collect sealed bids on the day of the sale. It’s something that generates excitement, trust me, and that’s exactly what makes reluctant buyers bid. I’ve had personal success with this technique and hopefully, this weekend, you will too.

Tempt Them

Rather than lowering the price inch by inch, do something that really stands out from the crowd: Pre-pay house taxes, the gardening expenses, or pre-pay the mortgage for the first year. Just think how appealing these could sound to a prospective buyer who’s worried about move-in expenses, on top of everything else. And think how much less this will cost you than a meaningful price reduction. Depending on the cost of your home, offering to pay closing costs can be an inexpensive way of enticing a first time buyer with little cash for their down payment. One thing’s for sure: people will talk about a tempting extra and talking about it is free advertising, and who couldn’t benefit from that?

Make A Good First Impression

Most buyers decide if they want to purchase your home within the first 8 seconds. So think first about what the buyers see first, and invest in your front door. Paint it; even replace it if necessary. After all, if your front door and entranceway are not welcoming, chances are buyers will be less receptive to what’s inside. Don’t forget to pay attention to your shrubs, and a fresh coat of paint outside can get many more buyers inside. Perhaps nothing contributes more to curb appeal than a gleaming new paint job.

Be A Neat Freak

Get rid of your stuff! Everyone appreciates a well-organized home, even sloppy people. And no clutter makes a home look bigger. Plus here’s something else: getting rid of all your clutter is the single most important change you can make that doesn’t cost you a penny.

Kill The Photos

Imagine how much easier it is for someone to see themselves living in a home that isn’t filled with another family’s photos and memorabilia. So depersonalize. Remove all those pictures from the walls and replace them with generic art.

Every House Has It’s Own Scent And The Aroma Of Apple Pie Beats The Smell Of Old Sneakers
Eliminate bad odors and play up the pleasing ones. Open the windows and send the cats to grandma’s house. A house that doesn’t smell good can turn off buyers before they even open their eyes.

Well, those are my favorite insider tips for selling your home this weekend. But as you look around your home, I bet you’ll come up with a few of your own.


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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Great tips, sound advice for the existing market.  Wecome and I look forward to many addtional post.
Feb 06, 2007 12:33 AM #42
Mike Morgenstern
Prudential Northeast Properties - Rockland, ME
How about prepaid fuel bills and advertising the home as energy efficient- Putting your money where your mouth is, and where people are feeling a pinch.
Feb 06, 2007 12:42 AM #43
Steve Dalton
219-465-8352 - Valparaiso, IN
Northwest Indiana Home Builder

Very adriot recommendations.  As a home builder we have found payment assistance in the first two years are very helpful in helping the buyer through payment shock.  Our MLS is a little "sticky" on the issue of re-listing to create lower DOM ... I think we have to be off market for 90 days.  Trust me I've tried it.

Welcome to Active Rain, we look forward to more of your insights.

Feb 06, 2007 01:00 AM #44
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
WOW and Double WOW - Now How do you talk the Sellers into doing all this. Especially the price thingy? I really like the idea of NOT lowering the price bit by bit - you end up with a house that has a bad case of market age.  This is an excellent post to print out and use in a listing presentation and/or with an Expired Listing!  Thank you very very much for sharing!
Feb 06, 2007 03:24 AM #45

I'm literally in a freaking mess.  I have a house that hasn't been selling and I'm going to foreclose because of the ridiculous terms of my mortgage.  All my friends can't sell...I can't sell...nothing seems to work.  I've lowered my price 50% from peak 2005 prices and it still won't sell.  I'm in the crappy Northeast...HELP ME!


Feb 06, 2007 05:07 AM #46
Les Pendens

I'm literally in a freaking mess.  I have a house that hasn't been selling and I'm going to foreclose because of the ridiculous terms of my mortgage.  All my friends can't sell...I can't sell...nothing seems to work.  I've lowered my price 50% from peak 2005 prices and it still won't sell.  I'm in the crappy Northeast...HELP ME!




Tough tits, dude.

You shouldn't have bought more house than you could reasonably afford and you shouldn't have used exotic financing.

The problem with this bubble was that people like yourself could get into the home ownership game with no money down and toxic mortgages...thereby driving up prices because of a temporary "lack of inventory" and the oft-repeated falsehoods that "they aren't making land anymore" and "its different this time".

This speculative runup priced out the entry-level homebuyer with 10-20% down who had to compete with the mini-Trump flippers and the shaky credit "buyers".

We are on the verge of the most colossal bust in human history.

All of you happy-talkin', cheerleadin' RE shills are in for a rude awakening. When the dust clears Realtors(tm) with their 40 hrs training will gone the way of the Travel Agent, the Milk Delivery man, the paper ballot and the in "history".

Time to find another line of work for all you easy fruit picking, order taking, worthless shills.

Selling Real Estate will never be the same and your "services" will no longer be needed. I have bought and sold three different condos here in Florida and all I needed was some due diligence, a title and escrow guy and a RE attorney. I lined up my own financing and had hard earned money to put down. I cashed out and sold to some 22-yr old for a tidy $ 125,000 profit last year and am now renting a 3/2 for about 80% of the mortgage payment.

Somebody is gettin eaten alive on the place that I rent and it ain't me.

Feb 06, 2007 07:13 AM #47

Pre-pay house taxes, the gardening expenses, or pre-pay the mortgage for the first year.

 Only if your potential buyer wants to pay taxes on the higher price.  Otherwise, just lower the price and you'll widen your selection of buyers.

Feb 06, 2007 07:47 AM #48
Christopher Walker
Mission Grove Realty Inc. - Hemet, CA
Local Broker and Realtor - Hemet & San Jacinto, CA

Great Photo! Great post and.... insightful.

I wish we could let one go every now and again then re-list. Would surely make a difference. Many association including the California Association prohibit "Chrurning" of a listing.

Here is NAR's  take on "Chruning" a listing:

"This practice is intended to deceive agents and clients regarding relevant information about the property. Misrepresenting data about a property is the most frequent cause of litigation between parties in a real estate transaction. Deception may be a violation of your Agency duty of fair and honest dealing with all parties. Deception and intentional misrepresentation is a violation of one or more sections of NAR's Code of Ethics."

Love the other ideas!




Feb 06, 2007 09:51 AM #49
Sammy S

Forgive my retching noises...what a nauseatingly syncophantic echo chamber in here.  Barbara's "how to sell in a weekend" tips are so 2005, but the sheep and lemmings who rushed in during the bubble years (2000-2005) are now official "F***ed buyers" living with the sick realization that they paid far too much for a depreciating "investment."  Many of them will be foreclosed on, and their lenders bankrupted, in a Darwinian and long-overdue return to fiscal sanity in the real-estate industry. 

As Les Pendens correctly notes, the cheap tricks realtors might have used successfully in 2005 to lure the stupid and unwary into buying overpriced houses they couldn't prudently afford, are going to be far less effective in 2007, as inventories and foreclosures soar, credit is tightened, and buyers wisely redefine real value and exhibit a healthy distrust of, and justified contempt for, the so-called professionals in the real estate industry. 

The gimmicks cited above won't sell your house.  The only thing that will "sell a house in a weekend" - a ludicrous proposition in its own right - will be DEEP PRICE REDUCTIONS.  As an ultra-high-FICO would-be buyer with all the time in the world (smugly renting right now) sitting on a down-payment well in excess of 30%, I won't waste my time with greedy sellers and delusional realtors.  I'll have plenty to choose from, including foreclosures and distress sales, and won't play silly realtor/seller/mortage broker games that have been the norm during the Fat Years.  I can wait...can you? 


Feb 06, 2007 02:23 PM #50
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Hi Barbara and welcome.  You seemed to have brought out the best and worst of Active Rainers.  I guess it's the price of fame.  Most of us will take what we need from blogs and leave the rest.  It's our cumulative knowledge base that helps us know what we're going when we do it. 

For me, I don't argue with success and I welsome reading your articles in the future. 

Lenn Harley, Broker, logo

Feb 07, 2007 08:20 AM #52
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:.
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA
Ever tried RAISING your price $5k after 300 DOM? Worked for me. It says "Wow, he knows he has the best value in town." I also wrote in the remarks "No low balls"
Feb 07, 2007 03:50 PM #53
Barbara, please change the picture to something that's not lame. 

This adulation of Barbara over her absurd suggestions only reinforces the image
of most realtors being dimwitted lemmings. I guess you guys are all fawning over her
because you all want to BE her. Won't happen.

Like the poster Sammy S pointed out, 2007 will be the year
your profession will go the way of the Dodo. House prices are already getting 
huge haircuts ALL OVER the country. Month over month prices are down EVERYWHERE, 
and there are just a few remaining markets with YOY prices still up, which won't remain 
so for long.

If you haven't noticed, the subprime lending phenomenon is coming to an abrupt HALT.
You have run out of greater fools. Like Samson above, many of you will be the BAGHOLDERS.
The music has stopped and there's no chair left for these bagholders. The Ponzi (re)finance
scheme is not unraveling because appraisals are coming in below the mortgages bagholders
are trying to refinance. The ARMs are resetting. Mortgage brokers, realtors, and other similar
paper pushers will now be shown the door, financially speaking. They killed the golden goose.

Good luck to you all in your new lines of work - if you haven't considered one yet, this is
a good time to do so because, as they say, "the first offer is the best offer" in this kind of
market. Consider the carnage in stock market last Thursday and Friday your "first offer" if
the whole year of 2006 wasn't one.

Cash will be king. People will learn the meaning of the "mort" part of mortgage - debts that
will chase the borrowers to the grave. (You all remember the changes to the BK law recently, don't you?)

Feb 10, 2007 02:31 PM #54
Frank Ll0sa wrote:
<i>Ever tried RAISING your price $5k after 300 DOM? Worked for me.</i>

How many times? Can this be a consistently successful tactic in a tanking market?
Feb 11, 2007 02:30 AM #55
Sammy S

Ever tried RAISING your price $5k after 300 DOM? Worked for me. It says "Wow, he knows he has the best value in town."

It says to me, this asshat realtor is completely out of touch with market realities.  I'd put in an ultra-lowball offer just to torque your nuts, Frankie.




Feb 11, 2007 03:37 AM #56

Wow.  I would have thought it would be more difficult to sell a home in a declining market complete with subprime evaporation and price exhaustion. But just make it pretty, be deceitful about the number of DoM, and make it impersonal and it will sell in two days! Gosh, guess my 800 FICO and large savings better get out there quick and buy. Otherwise I might be "priced out forever!"

BTW I am usually a nice person, but this "profession" has gotten so filthy and has destroyed so many people's lives - most of whom don't even know it yet - that I can no longer read your blogs and other postings without getting sick. I can only hope some of the people y'all screwed over do some screwing back.

Feb 11, 2007 02:33 PM #57
Sammy S
This blog appears to have come to a screeching halt - kind of like the housing bubble itself.  Que pasa, NARsters?  Too busy dropping off applications at Taco Bell to post gushing love notes to Queen Barbara? 
Mar 01, 2007 11:36 AM #58
Better Renter

I love the "first 8 seconds" comment.  I'm sure that was true ... FOR FLIPPERS.  Flippers didn't care about the house since (1) they weren't going to live in it anyway, and (2) the house was just a big "stock certificate" to them.  I'm sure the tulip buyers in Holland in the 1630s didn't spend a whole lot of time picking out their bulbs, either.  Anyone who wants Queen Barb to take them out for condos should first read Charles Mackay's "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds".

Better yet, read the and 

Mar 23, 2007 01:15 AM #59
Fern S. Hamberger
Citi Habitats - Manhattan, NY
The Fern Hamberger Team

Hello Barbara,

I do apreciate all your tips and I am totally impressed with your life accomplishments. How many times did you help the seller with all these tips? I am sure everytime you wanted to sell an apartment, you rolled up your sleeves and went to work, to make sure that the apt was presentable for showing. And that was a lot of work to convince the owners to rearange her family pictures, their books or shoes, to decluter and so on and so forth. However once you got through to the seller, you felt great.

Some people think they do not need real estate agents and other people think all we do is just show clients some homes. But the truth of the matter is, we are the hardest working people I ever met. And I come from the corporate world. We have to be friendly, courteous, happy, smiley, smart and to the point. Every time we show our listings or other agents' listings, we have to play coordinators, scheduler, psychologist, mediators, and many times if the owner did not tidy up the place, we went there and cleaned. Sometimes just to make the place look nice we picked a bunch of flowers. I remember a couple of times, I wanted to show an apt and the owner would forget to take the dog out so we can view the apartment. I had to arrange for someone to be available to walk the dog so I can show the listing. And that is not all we do, We qualify buyers, we qualify sellers, why do you want to buy, are you qualified? we ask. Why do you want sell? where will you be going? We have to analyze every situation. And once we find the right buyers and match them with the right sellers, we have to make sure that the transaction does not fall apart. We follow up with the lawyer and with all parties involved and on and on. Once the transaction is processed and the deal is done, we feel good and our clients on both sides, sellers and buyers apreciate what we are doing and befriend us for life... I am sure this is not news to you, I am just answering one of the comments by a non member...


Apr 25, 2008 12:59 PM #60

I hope everyone here takes the time to do some research on Barbara Corcoran. Back in March 2005, said the following:

"Of course there's no bubble. I think we're just getting started. But I don't expect anyone to believe me. There are so many more buyers than there are homes to sell. Bidding and overbidding are the norm of the day. So it's going to take a lot to slow this market. Even if it does -- which I don't see the signs of -- it will still slow down slowly. That's not what a bubble does."


"Q: What are some of the next "it" locations? Are high prices sending people to unlikely places?

A: One of them is downtown Detroit. I think when most people think Detroit, they think crime. The city really is reinventing itself. It has really rallied."


Q: Any advice for sellers?
A: Sellers don't need any advice. The one thing: If you want to be overpaid, underprice by 10% and see what happens. It creates a feeding frenzy. Have your home priced by three brokers, go with the lowest, and knock 10% off that. Only 1 in 10 people maybe has that chutzpah, but it works again and again and again.

Q: What about tips for buyers?
A: For buyers, No. 1, I guess, is that cash is king. You have to think like a competitor. Over and over again, people say, "I'll give you the higher price, but I need five days."

This woman is a piece of garbage. She would sell her own mother for 6%.

Jul 09, 2008 09:22 AM #61

Privitize the profits!  Socialize the risks!  Slavery for everyone except the ultra rich!

Jul 09, 2008 10:40 AM #62
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