How to Sell a Home in a Tough Real Estate Market

Real Estate Agent with Tanya & Co./Keller Williams

 I recently read a great article by David Crook about selling a home on July 14, 2008 in The Wall Street Journal Online. He gave seven points to remember when a homeowner needs to sell their home.

1. It isn't worth trying to wait out the market or to time the market.

2. Don't spend a lot of money on big-ticket renovations but do make sure that everything is in good repair. It won't necessary increase your price but it will help attract buyers.

3. Price your home cheaply. Forget what you THINK the house should be worth or what it was worth three years ago. You must set your price below comparable nearby properties. Look at the asking price of other comparable homes and set your price to beat them.

4. Hire the best, more aggressive listing agent you can find regardless of their commission.

5. Promote the property. The listing agent should pay for the usual marketing costs but oftentimes the seller may need to pay for additional marketing if required.

6. Play the banker. Consider seller financing if possible.

7. If any qualified buyer comes in with a reasonable offer, be prepared to accept it without countering.

To see the entire article you can go to

Comments (5)

Graton Gathright
University of California, San Diego - San Diego, CA

Hi Tanya,

I am a graduate student studying the economics of real estate brokerage.  One of my research questions is about how sellers choose listing agents.  Crook's #4 tip is to "hire the best, most aggressive listing agent you can find regardless of commission".  In your opinion, what makes for a top notch listing agent?  Does it depend on the property and seller which listing agent is the best?  What does it mean to you for a listing agent to be "aggressive"?  Is David Crook suggesting that these agents will charge higher commission typically?  Do you think that is true?

Best regards,

Jul 17, 2008 11:33 AM
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography - Bryant Payden
B. Payden Photography, LLC - Manassas, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography


I would agree completely, especially with #5 for purely selfish reasons, especially in this tough Real Estate market.

Jul 18, 2008 04:56 AM
Tanya Johnson
Tanya & Co./Keller Williams - Ashburn, VA


Thanks for reading the blog and for your response. In the article, David Crook says that when the market was different, you didn't need the best but now you do. He said that all offices have one or two agents who greatly outperform their colleagues. That is who you want. He suggests that those agents will have an extensive marketing plan and be top negotiators and therefore charge a full commission. I think an aggressive listing agent specializes in the neighborhood and knows which agents are selling or which ones have the buyers. Furthermore, they find out why those buyers choose other homes over their listings.


Thanks again!

Jul 18, 2008 01:37 PM
Tanya Johnson
Tanya & Co./Keller Williams - Ashburn, VA



Thanks for your response! I agree about the promote, promote, promote as well. Good pictures and good marketing goes along way. Of course, all of the marketing in the work won't help an overpriced property.

Jul 18, 2008 01:39 PM
Frank Harris
Keller Williams Realty Centre - Columbia, MD

Exposure and price are what sell homes of course it helps to have the house show well. This market is the toughest I have seen since 1987.

Jul 21, 2008 01:58 PM

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