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Selling Your House in a Recession

Updated on June 1, 2010

A global recession may seem like a crazy time to even consider selling your home, especially with the many horror stories of sellers who cannot sell up and are growing increasingly desperate to clinch a sale. While this may well be the case for some homeowners, there will still be some people who are looking to buy property during a recession. You will need to lower your expectations somewhat to fit in with the state of the property market in your local area. Here are some ways that you can increase your chances of selling your home during a recession.

1. Set a realistic price

House prices in your local area may be higher or lower than the national average. Look at properties that are similar in terms of size and location to see what you should be selling your home for as this is the best indication of what price you should be setting. If similar properties are not selling, you may choose to set a price that is slightly lower to get the sale. It is tempting to go for the price that you want, but this is unrealistic during a recession. If in doubt, have your home valued by an estate agent or similar to confirm that your intended price is in line with what it is actually worth in the current housing market. 

2.  Aesthetics are important

Making your home look as attractive as possible is essential for any house sale, but this is more so during a recession as buyers are more reluctant to part with their money and need to be suitably impressed before they will. Buyers want to get as much as possible for their money, and don't want to have to spend time and money doing the house up - even on a minor scale - unless they are getting a bargain price. Help them to see the full potential of your house by taking care of the aesthetics. This doesn't have to be particularly expensive or time-consuming. Simple examples can include giving the house a thorough clean-up before viewings, carrying out minor repairs, having your carpets steam cleaned and re-decorating problem areas. This may seem like an obvious tip, but many people shy away from this. While you may get away with this in a good market, potential buyers are harder to please when the market is bad and failing to attend to the aesthetics can be the difference between selling or not selling

3. Tackle the garden

Your house may be lovely, but a messy garden can significantly lessen its appeal. You do not need to go overboard on landscaping the garden, but make sure that you have at least got rid of any weeds and stray leaves and trimmed the lawn. Dotting a few potted plants around can improve the visual aesthetics in the garden. 

4. Organize an open viewing

To give the impression that your house is going to be in big demand, try organizing an open viewing in which potential buyers must view your home within a certain time frame. This creates the impression that there are lots of other people who are interested in viewing your house. If a potential buyer is suitably impressed with your house, he or she may put in a higher offer if they are concerned that they have competition from other viewers.

5. Advertise widely

Many sellers will advertise predominantly in the local newspaper when looking to sell property, but using local newspapers alone will bypass a lot of potential buyers who are likely to not even see your advertisement. Extending your advertising to include property websites will reach more people as buyers will frequently peruse these to look at houses for sale in their area. Targeting your advertisements to the potential buyers that you envisage your home appealing to is a good move. For example, if you feel that your home will mostly appeal to younger buyers, using the Internet to advertise your home can be a productive move. On the other hand, this mode of advertising is less effective if you intend to market your home to an older demographic. 


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      A great and informative hub. Thank you for sharing.