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How Sellers Can Compete Against Foreclosures

September 21, 2011
Loan Officer Keri Hoots

From Loan Officer Keri Hoots

Foreclosures seem like the deal of the century, so how can a traditional seller compete against them?  Surprisingly, sellers have several advantages over foreclosures; the key is to know what they are and then communicate them to potential buyers.

Five Ways to Compete Against Foreclosures

Sell sooner than later.

For a while there was a lull in new foreclosures being added to the market. Although foreclosure auctions are still down from last year, activity is beginning to pick back up, and may likely add a greater number of homes to the market as the year goes on.

Outstanding Condition.

It’s not enough to paint or clear out clutter. Buyers are pickier now – they can be. Foreclosures have lower price tags, but they come with an extraordinary amount of work. The contrast of a home in perfect condition against a foreclosure that requires repairs may be enough to sway a buyer.

Price for small profit vs. windfall.

Buyers need to be prepared to receive lower offers than they want. Everyone is looking for a deal and homebuyers will not pay a premium for any home, no matter how beautiful it is. That’s particularly true when selling against the foreclosure down the street.

Include key words in the listing.

Foreclosures are full of uncertainty. It can be a long and discouraging process. Contrast that with the simpler transaction of buying a home with no title problems, no structural problems or repair needs, and a certain closing date. Word the property listing to highlight these benefits including such things as long-term owner or pristine condition.

Pre-listing inspection.

What would you rather buy – a home that’s move-in ready or a house that may require repairs, rehab, or at the least, a lot of sweat equity to make it livable? Sellers have that advantage over foreclosures that can be in poor condition. But that advantage disappears if an inspection turns up something unexpected.  By having a professional evaluate a home in advance, the sellers can address anything that may be a deal-breaker.


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