By Steve Sloboda
My original plan for my first submission was to wrap up 2008 and provide a forecast for 2009. After thinking about it I realized that almost everybody is relieved that 2008 is history so let’s focus on the future. Most people have been inundated with stats and opinions about the local real estate market. Instead of that let’s talk about some helpful tips to get a home sold or to maximize your buying experience. 2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year when it comes to the local real estate market. If you are thinking of selling, have your house on the market, or are thinking about buying a home this year it is imperative to educate yourself about the process.
Spring is widely considered as the best time to market a home for sale. Flowers are blooming, skies are bright, and it seems that people tend to embrace change more readily in the Spring and Summer.
With that said, we are now in an even better time than that to make a move. We are in a time of unprecedented low interest rates. Having your home on the market at a time like this is a great advantage. Low rates benefit buyers and sellers. If you plan to buy another home upon your sale then you’ll be both.
Once you decide to make your home available for sale it is important to enlist the services of a trusted real estate agent to work for you. Of course there are other options but a great agent can be a big advantage to you when selling or buying. Before deciding on an agent, ask how many homes they have sold in the past year, ask to speak with some of their past clients, research their online presence, ask to see a comprehensive market analysis, and ask them in detail how they’re going to market your home for sale. If buying ask some of those same questions but also make sure that they have a trusted group of professionals to help with the process. A good agent will have many trusted resources that can help with maintenance issues, financial services, or pretty much anything you need along the way. It’s very important that you “click” with the agent you choose and to be confident that they truly have your best interests in mind. You are hiring them to protect you throughout the process so a good rapport is vital. I’ve said it before: A sign in the yard, a keybox, and a listing in the MLS is no longer enough to get a home sold. Pricing and presentation are more important than ever. Buyers have many choices these days so your home must stand out in the crowd to attract a sale.
Lastly, be realistic about your asking price. It’s my experience that there are still aren’t a lot of “lowball” offers being made around here. Buyers are more educated than ever and are waiting for homes priced too high to come down to fair market value before starting the negotiation process.
Consider the area surrounding you, tour some homes for sale that are similar to yours, and educate yourself about area trends. You can bet that buyers are doing those things so you should too. Be real from the beginning and you’ll have a much better experience.
Steve Sloboda is Associate Broker at Windermere Real Estate/Paragon Co. in the University Place office. Steve lives in the Oakbrook neighborhood of Lakewood with his wife Amity, and their two young children. For more information or to contact Steve direct please go to www.stevesloboda.com.
Steve Sloboda is Associate Broker at Windermere Real Estate/Paragon Co. in the University Place office. Steve lives in the Oakbrook neighborhood of Lakewood with his wife Amity, and their two young children. For more information or to contact Steve direct please go to www.stevesloboda.com.Print This Post