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Tips on How to Sell a House Fast

By - 2009

A lot of advice out there on how to sell a house fast revolves around better advertising and better presentation. Those are good places to start, but they ignore the single most important factor in making a quick sale. That factor is the price. To sell fast you need to price right. When homes are selling in two months in your area and yours hasn't sold for six, it's probably priced too high.

This becomes especially important during housing slumps like the current one (this is being written in 2009). If you sit on your house for six months due to wrong pricing, the prices in the area may have dropped another 5% while you waited. That can hurt you quite a bit. For example, on a $200,000 home it would mean that now you need not only to drop the price to where it should have been to begin with, but $10,000 lower due to further price declines. Over-pricing means you might actually make far less.

In addition to delaying the sale by pricing a home too high, there are holding costs if you don't live in the house while trying to sell it. Taxes, insurance, and possibly maintenance and utilities all have to be paid. Additional time and money will be spent advertising and showing the home. Eventually you'll have to price it right, and then you'll have to start advertising all over. You will pay to market your home twice if you don't get it right the first time.

Those additional costs are never recovered. In other words you might be better off aiming for the faster sale at a lower price from the start. Though it is possible that waiting could mean finding a buyer who will pay a few thousand more, if you have spend that much more in the meantime, you just added stress to your life for no actual gain in the end.

Another thing about "right" buyers is that they often pass on by over-priced homes. Then you might later sell it to someone who won't pay as much as the other buyer would have had the price not scared him off. And while the price is higher, all buyers whose price range is just below your price will never see your house. They enter their criteria into an MLS search, for example, and your home won't show up in the selection, even though they might have paid more than the eventually selling price.

Homes that have sat unsold for a year make people suspicious too. They might be less likely to make an offer even if you have finally lowered the price. They may be thinking, "That's the house that has been for sale forever. I wonder what's wrong?"

Over-priced homes also may not close easily. Suppose you're lucky enough to find a buyer at your inflated price. Don't hold your breath - the sale isn't made just because an offer is signed. When the appraisal comes in lower than the price, they might not be able to get the loan they need.

Pricing to Sell a House Fast

By now I have hopefully convinced you of the need to properly price your house from the start. That price should be not too low, but especially not too high. Try for just a little more than what the market is likely to pay. You want to be close enough to the market value to avoid the over-pricing problems outlined above, but with some room to drop the price so buyers can feel good about their negotiating skills.

That's a good formula for normal times. But with real estate values still dropping in many areas, it actually makes sense to price it a little lower than current market value right now. That's is how to sell a house fast today. Keep in mind that you save the costs of holding onto the home, and avoid the risk of having to lower the price even further later, so that lower price doesn't necessarily cost you.

Another page to check out:

How to Sell a House - Free e-book now on the pages of this site!

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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Tips on How to Sell a House Fast