Selling a home in a buyer's market 2011

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October 12, 2011

Home sellers having difficulty finding a buyer after a significant amount of time may wish to work with their agent to change their strategy, particularly if their need to sell the property is time-sensitive. There may be alternatives to a typical home buyer, such as selling the property to an investor who intends to resell it, but that could mean accepting a lower price in exchange for resolving the situation sooner.

According to Bankrate.com, most homeowners pursuing such a deal are unlikely to recover their equity on that kind of transaction, and too low a sale price can make it difficult to pay off the existing mortgage.

Setting a price
One alternative is to sign with an agent as a "motivated seller." While this generally entails a price drop, it may be a smaller one, and a good listing agent can help market the property to home buyers who will make an acceptable deal without so much waiting. While agents cannot prevent a home's price from dropping due to time on the market or a need to sell in a hurry, successful marketing could make a difference.

Home pricing is always difficult, MainStreet.com notes. It can be tricky to strike a balance, setting an asking price low enough that home buyers do not walk away feeling intimidated or regard the seller's expectations as unrealistic, while still leaving room for reasonable negotiations. Too low a price, of course, can undercut the home's value, and in some cases a home buyer who appreciates a property may even accept a high asking price.

Balancing factors
When the home seller is in a hurry, whether it results from a personal or business need to move out or the mortgage has become too much of a financial drain, that balance is even more crucial. Whatever the reason, some homeowners find themselves in a position where failure to sell soon can have unfortunate consequences. It is important for these individuals to remember that when the process becomes more difficult, an agent becomes more helpful in the transaction.

Bankrate.com notes that when a home's price needs to be dropped, it may be best to avoid waiting. Among the factors home buyers may examine is the length of time a property is on the market, and if a home spends months listed at too high a price with no prospective purchasers, future buyers who see how long the listing has lasted may be concerned. Worried buyers might wonder if there is something wrong with the property, or if the current homeowners are too stubborn to negotiate.