Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Newsday.com offers Top Tips to Sell Your Home


Four top tips to sell a home

Here are some additional tips to help sell your house in today's tough market:

1. Make your home 'the shiny penny'
Buyers are looking for a reason to eliminate your house, says Bart Cafarella, president of Realty Connect USA in Woodbury. "Your home needs to stand out in the crowd," he says. "It's like a dating service - why would someone pick you?" Conversely, you can also sell a "dirty penny" - a disaster house - if it's priced right, says Fern Karhu, executive vice president of RealtyConnect. "It needs to be offered well below market value."

2. Stress the home's cost, rather than price
Ultimately, it's not the total price that matters, it's the monthly payment, Steve Harney says. It's like buying a car - people need to be comfortable with the monthly payment, which includes financing charges. Even if prices continue to fall, it may be cheaper for buyers to make a move now. By the time prices bottom out, the economy will likely improve, pushing up mortgage rates, so a "cheaper" house may end up costing more for market-timers.

3. Presentation is critical
Curb appeal is your first concern, then the general exterior appearance, Karhu says. The upkeep of the house is also critical. "If you don't present properly for what today's consumer wants, it will affect the price," she says.

4. Don't "over-improve" your house
List your house at the lower range of the median price the market is paying in your area, Bethany Marten says. That may mean putting in a finished basement with an outdoor entrance (perhaps for a relative or teenage kid), instead of a "killer kitchen" with granite countertops.

When the housing figures are released each month, many consumers are faced with a profusion of confusion. Existing home sales are up slightly - no, they're down again. Median prices improved slightly over a year ago - wait, that was last month. New home sales dropped sharply after the federal tax credit expired, but they're up again - for now.
Well, one thing's for sure: It's a whole new game of "The Price is Right." Long gone are the halcyon days of setting your asking price by looking at comparable home sales over the last year - and adding 10 to 20 percent to those prices.
"There's a new mindset of austerity," says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based appraisal firm that produces closely watched quarterly reports on the Long Island housing market. "You need to price within a few percentage points of what your house is worth. You can't just put down a price and see whether you get a bite."

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