Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Four ways to foster a fast sale in a slow market
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Oct. 10, 2006 -- A tougher housing market means that real estate practitioners must take every opportunity to get their listings noticed. Here are some ways that sellers can work with their practitioners to foster a faster sale:

• Exposure, exposure, exposure. Sure, it may inconvenient to have buyers visit the home at unpredictable times. But limiting the times at which buyers can view the house may mean that they’ll look at other homes instead. “More showings equals greater interest equals greater likelihood for more money,” says David Martz, an associate with Re/Max Valley Properties near San Jose, Calif.

• Lookers come; sellers go. Sellers should leave the house when buyers arrive. Having the sellers around can make buyers uncomfortable. “Their very presence can be contrary to the merchandising experience,” says John Dozier, owner of Cupertino Properties.

• Competitive commissions. Make sure the commission being offered to the buyer's agent is competitive, even if the seller’s agent is offering to take a smaller than usual commission. Otherwise, buyers' agents could focus on other homes first.

• No surprises. Don’t forget to mention things that could make a buyer or a buyer’s agent feel disappointed the first time they see the property: a bad roof, a foundation that needs major repairs. Disclose these flaws in the listing notes as well as the legal disclosures so buyer’s agents can prepare their clients before showing them the property.

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