The Eleven Reasons Americans Still Can't Sell Their Homes

6. Sell “Green”
Not very many homes are actually built with environmentally friendly material or heated by solar panels or wind. But, those that are have a special appeal to the crowd that buys green cars such as the Prius. A seller may have one of only a few “green” homes in their town or city. That may make it highly desirable to many shoppers.

7. Curb appeal
This item appears on most lists, and many sellers don’t bother to take the advice to prune the hedges or clean the gutters. But, it is even more complex than that. Walk to the road on which your home is located. Now walk toward the house. What does a buyer see for the first time? Most sellers never bother to look at their homes through a buyer’s eyes. Do the shingles need a paint job? Are the shutters looking shoddy? “Love at first” sight is no less rare with homes than with people.

8. Everything is Negotiable

Negotiate the fee with the broker. The fee paid to a realtor for selling a home is traditionally 6%. Sellers often believe that they can get that down to 5% or even 4%. But, in a market where brokers are desperate for business, pressing for 3% or even 2% may work. Whatever the savings are, they can materially affect how much a seller can drop the price of his home, and still walk away with a profit.

9. Get an Inspection
Sellers should do some of the inspection work and testing before their home goes on the market. Inspectors for buyers are often aggressive when they report what is “wrong” with a home to their clients. For as little as $250, an inspector will go though you house and tell you what the inspector is likely to flag such as a roof leak or old, energy-wasting windows. That gives the seller a chance to fix the problem for less than the buyer may want to lower the price by, or at least know the items that a buyer will use to negotiate down the price.

10. Hire a “Stager”
For as little at $200, you can hire someone who can make your home look better by moving pictures, furniture, lights, and addressing problems that may make the home show poorly. These people are cousins to the men and women who “fix” expensive homes before magazines come in to photograph them for stories. “Stagers” have lists of tricks that few realtors and almost no homeowners know. The “better” your home looks, the more appealing it will be to potential buyers.

11. Fix it First
Sell a house that does not need any work. In a market in which people count every penny and worry about job security, fewer buyers want homes that are “fixer uppers” that require work that could cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollar to address. These days, a buyer choosing between two homes will most likely take the one that needs the least work. It may cost some money to get your home to the point where a buyer can walk in and do almost no work. However, it may be the difference between selling a home and having it languish on the market.

Douglas A. McIntyre