As a homeowner, nobody needs to tell you that the value of your house is not what it used to be. You’ve watched the price of your home rise and—after the mortgage crisis of 2007—saw its value plummet back down to what it possibly was when George Bush Senior was president. In some regions of the nation, your home’s value might have fallen back to what it was when The “Gipper” was still in office. Most homeowners, thus, have decided to wait out the crisis and put any plans to sell until the market (possibly) rebounds in the future.

But let’s say that circumstances have arisen in your life that require you to sell your house. Your job has relocated, you are financially strapped and have decided to downgrade to an apartment or condominium—whatever it might be. You have heard time and again that it’s a buyer’s market and that you’d have to be a fool to sell at this point; that turn your property over now is to guarantee a substantial financial loss. But as hard as you’ve tried to avoid it, you have to sell. What do you do to make this bad situation a little better? What can you expect from the real estate market?

First, you can expect a number of buyers coming to look at your property. However, don’t get too excited by this. Most of these home buyers are in tough financial situations themselves and are going to want to haggle you down to the lowest possible price for your house. They smell blood. They know that you are desperate and they are out to take advantage of you. It might cost you some money in the short term, but hiring a real estate agent to negotiate on your behalf could get you a better price for your home.

Second, you might not have money to remodel your house, but simple home improvements could raise the price of your property and end up being worth it in the long haul. Hire a landscaper; put up a picket fence; possibly even repave your cracked drive way. The old adage “the devil in the details” is especially true for real estate appraisals and could help the value of your home.

We know your don’t want to sell at the moment. Take into account these two simple suggestions and your real estate rocky road might just smooth out for you.

This is filed under Home Selling.

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