Don't Drown Yourself in Expired Listings

Expired listings can become costly, and you should do what you can to avoid them. You can throw money out the window, and ultimately, you'll have to price your home much lower to make a sale.  Rather than drown yourself in expired listings, use these techniques to make sure that your home sells.

Don't Overprice

Yes, it's important to get as much as you can for the home, especially if it's mortgaged. Being upside down, which means the mortgage balance is higher than the purchase price, is horrible. You'll still have to pay the difference, which can be hard to do. It's better to price a property reasonably and avoid the upside-down trap than to overprice it and end up lowering prices drastically. Buyers want good deals, especially in an economic downturn, and they'll quickly pass over any listing that is overpriced. Many buyers won't even try to negotiate a lower price and will just wait for prices to go down. Avoid expired listings by pricing according to what the market will pay.

List for a Long Time

Avoid real estate agents that insist that they'll only list your home for a short time, which is less than two months. They will have more success at selling the property if they have more time to advertise it and show it to buyers. Long gone are the days when homes sell the same day that they're listed. It's not the norm anymore, although it does happen for a few homeowners here and there. Negotiate a four to six months' listing period, or even longer, if you can.

Stay Informed

Don't allow your agent to disappear after you've signed a listing agreement with her. You need to keep informed about her activities, and you'll have to be proactive about keeping the lines of communication open. Ask her advice on how to spruce up your home to improve its value or make it more marketable. Get her to agree to give you enough notice about appointments to show the property if you live there. Talk to her about any market conditions affecting the sale of your home, especially if you live out of state and aren't aware of local issues. You'll reduce expired listings if your agent is on top of the situation, and some real estate agents have to be managed, unfortunately.

Emphasis on Free Advertising and Marketing

You may prefer free advertising in order to keep costs low, but it may not sell the property. You need a mixture of free and paid advertising, and it doesn't have to cost that much. Advertising done wisely helps to prevent expired listings. Consider your agent's recommendations for where and how to advertise and confirm that those methods have been successful. Pay for what you can, even if you're unable to pay for everything at once.

Don't drown yourself in expired listings. You can't avoid them completely, but you can take steps to reduce them when selling your home.

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