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Real estate markets are touchy things. Sometimes there will be so many new families moving into the area that a resale home will be snapped up off the market in a matter of days, even if it's a little outdated looking on the inside. Other times the economy will make it difficult for people to hang onto their homes, resulting in a lot of property on the market that no one can afford to buy. If you have to sell your home during a slump, there are certain things you can do to help make sure you get a good price on your property.
When the market falls into a slump and people aren't getting good prices when they sell their homes, often the best thing you can do for your overall financial health is to hang on to your real estate until conditions for selling are more favorable. This might mean sticking around for a few more months to wait for spring, or it might mean sitting tight for several years during a recession waiting for the economy to bounce back.
It's not often that people are able to hang onto a house once they've decided they need to sell, they're due in a new city and start their new job, or because their unfortunate financial losses have made it necessary to sell before they lose them to foreclosure. In a situation like this, in a depressed market, you may think it would be wise to do away with a realtor so you can get more money on the sale. But in fact, a realtor is worth it - they are better able to find buyers than you are and better at negotiating a good price.
When there are a lot of other houses for sale in your neighborhood you need your home to stand out from the pack. You can do this by taking extra care with your listing - making sure the photo of the home is in good light and good weather, emphasizing the home's unique and positive features, and by making sure that the home is in ship shape when it comes time to sell, both on the outside and the inside. Homes that look like they need work will be at the bottom of a buyer's list when he or she has a lot of options.
Staging can also help to make your house for sale look fancier than it is. A new coat of paint, clearing out the clutter, and slip covering or renting furniture and knickknacks so that your home looks like a magazine page is tremendously appealing to buyers.