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No doubt the temperature of the housing market has cooled. Bidding wars, multiple offers over asking, forget about it. If you’re thinking it’s time to sell, Mark Nash, author of “1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home” and a working real estate broker in Chicago, has these words of advice.
-Make sure your properties are listed with a large national brokerage. You need all the Internet and print exposure you can get, locally, regionally, and nationally.
-Don’t list with a company that demands you pay a commission, even if you don’t sell. Apparently some listing agreements do require you to pay a commission either way. So read the contract carefully.
-Don’t list your property with a broker for longer than 120 days. Give them four months. “If they can’t do it in 120 days, chances are they can’t do it in 180 days,” Nash says.
-Demand that your broker does a virtual tour and a minimum of eight still photos on their Web site and on Realtor.com. “This is not negotiable,” Nash says. “The buyer of your property might be out-of-town, state or the country, think global.”
- When pricing your property, look at comparable sales from the last six months. “That’s exactly what the buyer’s mortgage lender will use,” Nash says.
-If you have multiple properties, sell those in the least desirable locations and models first.
-Pay attention to the absorption rate in your market. This is the number of homes for sale divided by the average number of sales in the most recent month. “Three months is fine, six months is okay, nine months is troublesome and twelve-plus, will not be pretty,” Nash says.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.