Selling a Home in a Slow Real Estate Market: Top 5 Things to Get the Home Sold

While the real estate market in the United States has gone through its ups and downs, there are some rock solid fundamentals that will always be effective in selling a home.

Set a Good Price

It’s THE most important thing. Don’t be your own worst enemy and get greedy. Wishing for a certain price doesn’t sell the home. The market is what it is.

“Every home has a price,” explains Joseph Ho, a commercial and residential real estate agent of 25 years. “The hard part is finding that price, and for the seller to accept what that price is. The biggest mistake sellers make in an adjusting market is that they price (their home) according to what the market was, not what it is.”

Hire a Good Realtor

Hiring a good professional real estate agent will take care of everything on this list. They will tell you what a good price is, how they’ll market it, how to increase curb appeal and what type of staging is needed.

“Agents are held to a higher standard,” proclaims Sue Brodie, Prudential NW Realty’s VP and Managing Broker. “Hiring a Realtor connects you instantly to a network of other agents who have buyers. Hiring a good Realtor will get the home exposed to potentially thousands of people who are looking to buy.”

Ho adds,” There are people out there looking for the ‘For Sale By Owner’ homes, those people are looking for a steal and you will get low balled. First off the bat, (money) is coming off the top. It’s not worth it.”


Exposure/marketing is everything and works hand in hand with hiring an agent. The more the property is seen, the better chance to sell the home. People have to know the house is on the market, and the realtor does exactly that.

“The most important thing is getting the home exposed to qualified (lender approved) buyers,” suggests Ho. “That’s what the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) does, it’s not a public site. It gets the homes connected with other realtors who have qualified buyers.”

Brodie adds, “The power of the group in the MLS is extreme exposure. There’s nothing better.”

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is much like window shopping. If the home looks good when driving by, people will go in and look at it. If it doesn’t, it wastes everyone’s time and the buyers don’t even get out of the car.

“It’s the lipstick on the pig,” explains Brodie. “Curb appeal is very much like the first impression. It makes them want to go in.”

“It also tells something about the seller,” suggests Ann Hilario, a fine homes specialist in the Seattle area. “If there’s good curb appeal, in the buyers’ eyes, the home was well maintained.”

Professionally Stage the Home

Staging is good salesmanship where the home doesn’t look empty. A professional staging company will give the home the extra edge by organizing nice furniture and decorations, adding the wow factor.

“You’re making a particular product better than the rest,” explains Brodie. ”Good enough is no longer good enough. Professional staging will help you work the house.”

Hilario also adds, “You can’t ignore that your house needs help sometimes.”

Security Issues In Showing Your Home

Selling Your Home–Some Security Tips Whether or not you list you home with a real estate agent you subject yourself to a security risk each and every time your home is shown. Real estate agents will screen prospective buyers but their process is limited and subjective. The real deterrent to a “bad guy” is the thought of an agent screening them out–not the process.

You see, when you put a “for sale” sign in your yard you are inviting complete strangers in to your home–among your personal possessions–something you know is wrong and you teach your children not to do. Unfortunately, if you want to sell your house–you have to do it!

A real estate agent is trained to do certain things to minimize the risk. Those items include never allowing their car to be blocked in a driveway, never showing a vacant home to a stranger, always alerting their office as to where and when they will be on an appointment, getting license plates, always following a customer into a room, etc… These are seemingly small things that we, as brokers/agents, do without even giving a second thought. Real estate agents also have eyes in the back of their heads that allow them to baby sit kids running around while giving a tour of the home. It is truly amazing how much we can juggle with both hands to get a sale!

As a homeowner, however, you have not been subjected to the training an agent has received. You have to constantly be aware of the security issues as well as the liability issues–what if this prospective buyer is just looking for a place to slip and fall–sad, but it does happen! If you are selling you home on your own keep the above items in mind…and here are a few more tips that might help.

Never show the property alone. Always let someone know exactly where you are and how long you will be there. Remove all “people-trippers” such as yard hoses, toys, animals, loose carpet, etc… Have your car keys in-hand. Park your car where it can not be blocked. Follow your customer into the rooms. Do not lead. Hide all valuables! Check all door and window locks immediately after each showing.

The main security comes from using common sense–and if you are uncomfortable with a situation–get out of it.

These risk are there whether or not you use an agent–but I believe they are decreased with the use of an agent. Use caution and smart sense–you will be just fine! If you doubt the security of your home–ask a security company to come by and do an assessment–some police departments will do this for free.

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