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April 30th, 2011

HELP: I can’t sell my house!



Sold sign resizedCan’t say I haven’t heard that before, especially these days. While today’s real estate market is primed for homebuyers, given the low mortgage rates and cheap real estate prices, it can be a constant struggle for those trying to sell their homes.

If your house is currently on the market, or you’ve tried to sell your home in the past, I’m sure you’ve heard all the typical advice before: don’t underestimate your home’s curb appeal, declutter, clean, and depersonalize your home. Yet a lot of times, especially today, that advice just isn’t enough to get your house sold.

Given all the competition out there, between the massive inventory of homes for the sale and all the discounted properties that are available, we knew we had to provide our readers with some “outside-the-box” ideas to get that sold sign on those front lawns.

HSH.com contributing writer Margarette Burnette came up with “5 outside-the-box secrets to help sell your home.” For today’s post, I’m going to share just a few of Margarette’s outside-the-box ideas–you’ll have to read her article to learn about them all:


2. Sweeten your home’s scent

In the past, home sellers have attempted to make their homes smell like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to charm buyers. But according to Russelo, a better tip is to put a warm loaf of bread in the oven. “The cookie smell does work, especially when buyers get to eat some on your home tour, but I’ve found the warm bread smell often works better for sales,” she says.

Regardless of whether you have cookies, bread or nothing at all, make sure your home has a soft, pleasant smell. “If you don’t have the opportunity to pop something in the oven right before a showing, then the home should smell like clean laundry, lavender, or no scent at all,” Russelo says…

4. Upgrade online pics

Many buyers will look at a home’s photos on the Internet before deciding if it’s worth driving by to make a visit, so good photography is critical in marketing a home,” says O’Dell.

If your listing photos aren’t taken in bright sunlight and show clean, uncluttered rooms, you may need to hire a professional photographer to re-take them, she says. (Many Realtors offer professional photography as a part of their services. Otherwise, the homeowner could expect to pay around $150 for such services, says O’Dell).

Another tip for homeowners is to create a video walkthrough of their property, but it would have to be done professionally, too, often at a cost of more than $250, O’Dell says. “If your budget requires choosing between a video or high-quality pictures, get the pictures,” she says.

5. Write a letter to buyers

Another rarely used secret is to write a note to the people coming to view your property, says Russelo. “In the letter, mention all the reasons you bought the home in the first place, like a family-friendly kitchen, great storage or good schools nearby,” she says.

“A letter lets you make the connection between the features in your house and the memories that can be made from them,” adds O’Dell.

It’s important to be sincere, however. Be sure to not make the note unrealistically positive. For example, don’t mention that no appliances have broken down if it’s not true, O’Dell says.

Instead, create a letter that helps buyers understand how you’ve created wonderful memories in your home, and now they’ll have an opportunity to do the same.

Especially in today’s competitive real estate market, sellers need all the help they can get to set their homes apart. Sometimes all it takes is for you to think outside the box.

5 Responses to “HELP: I can’t sell my house!”

  1. Don Kolenda Says: April 30th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Great timely advice.

  2. Tips on How to Sell your Home | Jack Barry Realtors Says: May 1st, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    […] HELP: I can’t sell my house! (hsh.com) […]

  3. Dena G. Says: May 4th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Good stuff! Thanks!

  4. Tom Kirkham Says: August 10th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal!!!!!

  5. Kent Marshall Says: January 1st, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    The overall look and smell of a new home can have a huge impact on finding a buyer for the most money possible. The other big factor is the price of your home and how it compares to other houses in your area. If you have a low priced home that is visually attractive you will not have much problems even in today’s market.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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