Sell your house yourself–How to price your house for a fast sale.

There are lots of reasons why you would want to sell your house yourself.  Some people need to sell to buy a bigger house, a smaller house, or a house in a different area or school zone.  Job and military transfers cause people to sell their houses.  And you may prefer to sell your house yourself instead of using a Realtor.  But whatever your reasons are for selling your house, one fact holds true for all. Selling your house fast is the goal for any seller. The faster you sell your house, the faster you can move on with your life.

To sell your house fast, price it right.

There are lots of ways to insure that you sell your house fast.  But number one is price.  If you price your house right, it will sell fast, even in this slow economy.  When you decide to sell your house yourself, be realistic about your price.  What you paid for it isn’t relevant.  What it was worth in 2005 isn’t relevant.  How much you have in it isn’t relevant.  What *is* relevant is what a buyer will pay for it today.  And house buyers today have a lot of choices.  Your house has to stand out above the crowd.

Your most important step when you sell your house yourself is pricing it right.  Pricing is an inexact science, but there are a lot of tools out there for you to use.  When you decide to sell your house, you should scour the Internet for sites such as Zillow that provide data on home sales.  Surf Craigslist to see what other home sellers are asking for similar homes.  The Property Appraisers website has color coded maps that will show you what other houses in your area have sold for.  Drive around looking for other houses similar to yours and find out what they are asking.  And Realtors will be happy to give you a market analysis for free, hoping to get the listing to sell your house.  All of this data is useful.

Once you have set the price that you will sell your house for, your next job is to gauge the market.  If you are getting a lot of response, you may have hit the “sweet spot” and can hold the line in your negotiations.  Lots of traffic means you are about to sell your house!  But if you aren’t getting a lot of traffic, there can only be two reasons…either the house is not advertised well, or it’s not priced right.

A technique to sell your house.  Timed price reductions.

When I am selling a house myself, I set timelines, and I suggest that you do the same.  Your specific timelines will vary depending on your situation and how quickly you want to sell your house.  But the principal is this:  schedule your price reductions and amounts in advance.  My timeline might look like this:  “If I don’t sell my house in three weeks, I will reduce my price by $5,000.  If I don’t sell my house in the next three weeks, I will reduce the price another $5,000”  And so on.

Now, $5,000 every three weeks is pretty aggressive.  When you sell your house, $1,000 every month might be more reasonable. Or 2% every 6 weeks.  But bigger drops will attract more attention from buyers.  The principal is to set some goals for selling your house so that time doesn’t slip away from you and you ending up unable to sell your house.

Any Realtor who has been around can tell you that any house has a “fast sale” price.  You can sell your house in a day or two at one price.  You can sell your house in 30 days at another, higher price.  You can sell your house in 90 days at another, still higher price.  And, of course, there is a price at which you can never sell your house!  So your initial price, and your schedule of reductions, should reflect how quickly you want to sell your house.

Happy selling!

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