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A Common Sense Guide to Selling a Home in 2008

Mar 11, 2008
The housing market has changed with the exception of the mistakes home sellers make every year. Here are a few tips if you must sell your home. This advice comes from over twenty-one years service as a full time Realtor. The tips/advice are actually more than that, they are universal truths. Violate these truths and see what happens during the sale of your home.

There are only three components to a successful sale of a home; price, condition, and marketing.

1. Price. Nobody knows what any home will sell for until a buyer lays the money on the table. With a record number of homes for sale that you will be competing against, the price of those homes is more important than what similar homes have sold for. Those buyers are out of the market. Nobody is right about price all the time, that's why you need a pricing plan before you enter the market.

Universal truth, the largest number of buyers you will ever have to appeal to will be the first day on the market. You will get more showings the first two to three weeks than the next ten combined. Price your home fairly according to the competition, if you have not received an offer after two to three weeks adjust the price. This may seem like a short period of time, however it is the time frame of the market. Ignoring these time frames leads to additional months on the market.

Following your first price adjustment, if you have not received an offer between the sixth and eighth week, adjust your price again. All the buyers that were available on day one through the eighth week have eliminated your home from their priority list. After the eighth week on the market you will be waiting for new buyers to enter the market. This leads to an extended time before selling.

2. Condition. You have one opportunity at a first impression. Remember that buyer will be comparing your home to all others, you are not the only dog in the hunt.

Homes in the best condition, homes preinspected by a licensed inspector, homes offering a warranty sell faster and for more money.

You can watch all the TV programs you want about preparing homes to sell. Let me make it easy for you. Clean sells. Spacious appearance sells. Use the 'I would' rule, if something causes you to pause and think; should I do this? I would.

3. Marketing. The more buyers there are for a product, the more valuable that product becomes. The Realtors in your community are the best at marketing homes to attract the greatest number of buyers. All others, far less.

Just a few tips; open house, newspaper advertising, and homes magazines account for about 3% of all sales. Don't be fooled by the agents that promise you these services, they are using them as listing tools to get you to sign the listing. You will be disappointed.

The Internet is the new classified. Hire a broker without a top notch presentation of your home online, and you will be disappointed.

Hire the best agent/broker you can find and you will be half sold. Don't be fooled during agent selection, it is the most important decision you will make. Hiring the agent that tells you the highest price or lowest fee will almost certainly doom you to failure. Things are not as they appear. Overprice, no sale. Lowest fee, fewest services.

Best wishes for a successful sale in 2008.
About the Author
Fritz Pfister is a licensed Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals Springfield Illinois.
Fritz is a leader in the local real estate market and hosts a live one hour radio program, now in its' 13th year.
Fritz's website is
Fritz hosts home buyer and home seller seminars that have been attended by hundreds of consumers.
Fritz provides advice that helps consumers succeed in the sale or purchase of homes.
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