The housing market has not yet rebounded to pre-recession prices, when buyers seemed to be stepping over one another to bid up the price of homes. Today's sellers may be lucky to get asking price, with the reality being a certain percentage below. However, that doesn't mean sellers should accept bottom-of-the-barrel offers. There are still ways to get the best price possible on an offered home.
With sellers hoping to get the most possible for a home and buyers interested in spending the least, it's sometimes a battle of wills when it comes to hashing out a confirmed price in the world of real estate. Sellers who wonder whether they'll struggle to get a good offer can hedge their bets in the right direction by employing a few strategies.
* What you see is what you get: It's difficult to change first impressions. If a potential buyer pulls up to a home that doesn't give them "warm and fuzzy" feelings immediately, it may be hard to eventually sway opinion of the home -- even if it's pristine on the inside. Individuals do judge a book by its cover, which means that effort should be put into making a home's exterior as appealing as possible. Landscaping should be neat and lush. There shouldn't be any obstacles leading to the front of the home. Items that look in disrepair should be mended. Curb appeal does matter.
* Use a real estate agent: Many people forgo this step, thinking they can sell their home just as well without an agent and not have to pay commission in the process. A real estate agent is schooled in the process of negotiating the price of an offered home. In fact, the more a home's selling price is, the higher the agent's profit. That's incentive right there. Furthermore, agents know the average prices of similar homes and can help a seller price and market a property correctly. That may add up to a faster sale (and a better offer).
* Price it competitively: Some sellers think the higher they price their home the more money they'll get for it. The fact is, the longer an overpriced home sits on the market, the less appealing it will appear to buyers. Individuals looking for a home may repeatedly see the listing and wonder what's wrong with the home. Even if it's the best home in the neighborhood, it may be seen as a red flag that's best avoided.
* Give people what they want: Buyers often prefer updated kitchens and bathrooms. Most buyers out there are not looking for "handyman specials." They want a relatively turn-key property. A kitchen or bathroom that is an eyesore can repel potential buyers. Home shoppers may be more inclined to go closer to asking price if some of the bigger-ticket items are already completed.
* Don't be an open book: If a buyer knows that time is of the essence or the home is "priced to sell," he or she may sense that desperation, almost guaranteeing a low-ball offer. Sellers shouldn't let on too much about their reasons for selling or make it seem like they'll be in dire straights if the home doesn't sell quickly. Selling a home under duress is not likely to cause prospective buyers to pony up.
* Don't be afraid to counter-offer: A buyer who is excited to get an offer on a home in a slow market, but feels the offer is below value, should definitely counter-offer. While the buyer may not accept the counter, he or she may make another offer that is more to the seller's liking.
Curb appeal is one factor that can help a home sell faster and for more money.