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Winning Strategies for Slowing Real Estate Markets

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 posted by Tommi Crow

When hot housing markets slow down, those who engage in guerilla marketing tactics beat the competition. With today’s shifting market, master the basics and you will survive the downturn.

1. Move Your Marketing to the Web: Don’t fear exposing your home listing on numerous websites. Always take full advantage of free, powerful, websites like www.infotube.net, which guard privacy, require no registration, and never sells or discloses information about its users.

Make Web home shopping easy for buyers. Use multiple photo’s, interactive mapping, driving directions, interest generating information and printable full-color brochures in your web home listing. Maximize your web exposure and you will maximize your sales price.

2. Unrealistic Asking Prices: The number of homes on the market competing against yours increase daily. The number of real buyers in the market for a home like yours decrease daily. Do not make the mistake of pricing your home as you may have last year. This is a new year and new real estate market. The days of bidding wars, waived contingencies and inspections are in the rear view mirror for most of us. Price your home agressively against your competition. Your home will sell for more money than those priced too high and they will sell faster.

3. Protect Buyers and Yourself from Upticks in Interest Rates: Lock in interest rates when applying for a loan. If interest rates increase, loan and payment terms are frozen at the lock in rate and will not go up. Locking in the rate protects Sellers and Buyers because the contract specifies an interest rate cap. If rates go higher than the cap, the buyer can walk or face higher monthly mortgage payments than their budget allows.

In rising interest rate environments like we are currently experiencing, sellers should further protect themselves by contracting for rate caps at least 0.5% higher than the current market interest rate. Additionally, buyers should apply for a loan with at least two lenders. Lenders may not like it, but competition protects both parties to the sale.

4. Set Yourself Apart. Agents will Remember You: Send a nice brochure about your property to the top buyers’ agents in your area. Or better, consider a flat fee MLS listing and reach all the agents. Visit www.why6percent.com and learn how the MLS can help you sell in any market. Money always works…think about offering a bonus or increased commission to make sure buyer agents show your home first and sell it the hardest.

5. If Home Buyers feel special, they will remember you, too. Provide premium service, offer refreshments like fresh baked cookies or watermelon on a hot day; hold weekly Open Houses and present hand written invitations to all your neighbors; hand out a CD brochure of your home; offer visitors a “thank you for attending” gift; offer the buyer a free Home Warranty at closing or free lawn care for the summer.

Ultimately, guerilla marketing pays off in many ways, so make it pay for you. Your creativity will connect you with buyers and their agents. It will make you unique and memoriable while making people feel special. A home is the biggest purchase decision of our lives and it is one that many of us are taking much more time in making. Use all your warfare tactics and you will succeed in any market, any time.

As always, we are here to take your questions. If you want some feedback or just need someone to listen, email tommi@infotube.net or use the comment section on the blog. Thanks for reading and for visiting InfoTube.