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Collection of tips for selling a home in a cooling market

August 6th, 2006 · 10 Comments

The topic of this week’s Carnival of Real Estate hosted by Property Grunt is: How buyers and sellers are coping with this market.  If this were a blog about California, New York City, DC, or Florida real estate, it would probably be the top issue.  But it is a blog about Pittsburgh real estate, and Pittsburgh didn’t follow the great property appreciation of the early 2000s.  Sure, property appreciated at the high end: Fox Chapel, Shadyside, etc.  But real estate overall didn’t follow the same trend that it did everywhere else.
In fact, the January 20, 2006, Pittsburgh Post Gazette noted that Pittsburgh operated in reverse.  The best quarter of last year was the last.  That was the time that the housing markets elsewhere started to cool.  One explanation for that is that its negative population growth, rather than interest rates, weighed on the Pittsburgh housing market, which was suggested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Nov. 26, 2005.  The other possible explanation would be that high Allegheny County property taxes weighed on the property market.

Following its contrarian trend, there is talk that the Pittsburgh commercial real estate market is improving.  Moody’s Investor Services moved Pittsburgh from one of the most troubled markets to the middle of the pack.  And Pittsburgh’s housing market was steady in the spring  (both sales and price were up over last year) despite a rocky first quarter .  Pittsburgh has also seen a number of people looking to sell their high priced property in “hotter” markets and buy in more reasonably priced Pittsburgh.  (Links via Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.)

So, for everyone that has been riding the property bubble, I thought that I would collect a few tips for selling a home in a cooling market.  I’m sure that there is a tip or two that would be helpful to everyone to remember.

Price competitively. If a buyer doesn’t emerge in a few weeks, maybe it is time to reprice it rather than hold on to the property for a year or more. Via USNWR.

Price realistically.  Via MSNBC.

Lower expectations.  Via CBS News.

Don’t expect a bidding war.  There are fewer buyers on the market.  They don’t want to buy at the top (of the property bubble or of interest rates). Via USNWR.

Be flexible.  Consider fixing your homes flaws, hiring a home inspector up front, negotiating a different move-in date, paying buyer’s costs, etc.  Via Seattle PI.

Get ready for picky buyers.  Via Bankrate.com.

Create good curb appeal.  First impressions count.  Via Realty Times. 

De-clutter and clean like a fiend.  Via MSN Money.

Stage your home.  Via CNN Money / Fortune

Don’t be so quick to turn down an offer.  Time is money.  Via Real Estate Journal.

Find the best real estate agent you can.  Via Realty Times.

Consider an auction.  Via Real Estate Journal.

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