As of February 2009, there were over 3.8 million existing-homes available for sale in the country.1 Indeed, despite the economic downturn, houses for sale are still a valuable and sought after commodity. The market has shifted from a seller"s market to a buyer"s market, and with dropping house prices and the added incentives for first time buyers, the opportunities to buy a home are getting better and better.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in the country was $165,400 in February 2009, down from the same month in 2008.2 Despite this decrease, it does not necessarily mean that houses in good condition show a similar loss of value3, but that sellers must be more market savvy about how they handle their properties.
With the varied opportunities for home buyers in today"s market, it is essential for sellers" homes to be ?sale ready? from the day the home goes on market-- which means preparing the property for the demands of the agents and buyers. Experts recommend that houses for sale have all of their repairs completed first rather than trying to negotiate them with potential buyers just prior to the sale. Moreover, it is also recommended to stage the house to show it to its best advantage?highlighting aspects like room sizes, recent remodels and layout-- to invite potential buyers to imagine themselves living in it. Note that this might involve moving or packing away furniture and personal items before putting the home up for sale. Also, find an agent with a strong sale record (3-4 month turnaround) who is familiar with the area, and be flexible and open to walkthroughs and scheduling.
Millions of houses are for sale across the country, despite the hard economic times. Whether buying or selling, it is important to know the facts and take time to research before heading into today"s residential market.