Selling Your Home in a Cooling Market

There’s no doubt about it. The Lake Norman real estate market  is not as hot right now as it was even a few short months ago. One reason for the cooling off is just the normal seasonality of the business. But we can’t deny that the mortgage fallout driven by subprime defaults has hurt as well. As I’ve written before, here in the North Mecklenburg-Iredell-Lincoln County area, all around Lake Norman, we are somewhat insulated from the worst of it, since we didn’t see a lot of high-risk loans being written. Every one of the mortgage brokers I work with are still functioning and lending money. Just the same, if you have a home for sale in Cornelius, or Mooresville, or somewhere near Charlotte, you’re probably going to be on the market a little longer than you planned.

So the market has slowed some.  As sellers, what can you do under these conditions to gain a competitive advantage? The first and most important step to take is to make sure your home is priced right. To determine that, you not only need to know what the market is saying, but you need to get real clear on your own needs and motivation level.  A good real estate agent will be glad to help you with market analysis, but you need to be able to objectively combine where to price your home and how fast you want or need to move it.

Dian Hymer of Inman News has some further good tips for sellers. She says:
1. Be honest with yourself about the positive and negative features of your property.
2. Choose an agent with experience in your area and who feels comfortable speaking candidly about what you need to do to prepare your home for sale.
3. Offer your home in the best condition possible and list it at a price in line with recent comparables.
4. Make adjustments in the list price for what are called incurable defects, such as a busy street location or a lot of stairs to the front door.

Keep in mind that listing your home in this kind of market will require patience, since buyers will not feel the same sense of urgency to make a decision as they would if they felt that they might not find the home they want somewhere else. Unlike in a hot market, where waiting might mean paying more, buyers are less willing to compromise on their decision.

Make no mistake, though. There are still buyers out there, and there’s one for your house. If you are considering selling, contact me and we can have a candid discussion about the best way to accomplish that goal. You can find my contact information by clicking on the “Look Who’s Talking…” link to the right.


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