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7 Tips For Selling Your Condo . . . Fast
The condo market has collapsed.
Since mid-2006, the condo sales frenzy in big cities like Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Miami and Boston has rapidly run out of steam. Sales are stuck in neutral, a tsunami of new construction has drowned the market in unsold inventory, and prices have either flattened or begun to fall.
And while there are signs that the worst of the housing slump may be improving, as construction slows and interest rates remain affordable, there seems to be no relief on the horizon for condo markets.
Across the country condominium sales have seen worse drops than single-family properties: 13.6 percent from November 2005 to the same month in 2006, while free-standing homes fell 10.7 percent in the same period. Inventories are up 38.1 percent for condos but only 29.6 percent for individual homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national median price — half the condos sold for more and half for less — has seen no improvement in the last year: it was at $224,600 in November, unchanged from November 2005.
The Chicago condo market—just like the national real estate market in general—is overflowing with unsold inventory. The most recent data available shows that there are well over 90,000 Chicago homes and condos available for sale.
With conditions like this working against you, you’ll have to work smart and hard to beat your competition when marketing your Chicago condo. Here are the 7 best strategies we’ve found that you can use to attract qualified buyers:
1) Go and see the competition firsthand. Also, get a Realtor’s help—or do some internet research—to find condos for sale in your neighborhood. Know what prices other people are asking. There are many ways to check out condo values, and buyers know them all. In today’s market, if you overprice your Chicago condo, it absolutely will not sell.
2) Pay for an appraisal of your Chicago condo that sets it at the highest possible value, and use this appraisal in your advertising. Check around for similar condos in your area, and ask for 5% less than all your competitors.
3) Build a website for your condo (or have one of your nieces or nephews do it). It’s cheap and fairly easy to do. You need to have material on the internet—that’s where more and more buyers are going to search for condos. Feature a lot of pictures of you and your family enjoying the place, and include as much detail as you can about your Chicago condo. It’s the details that sell.
4) Make brochures with a “look” similar to your website’s and reference your website in them. Hand the brochures out whenever you can.
5) Offer to pay ALL your buyer’s closing costs. Most buyers are able to afford a mortgage payment, but many have problems coming up with large amounts of cash up front. The savings you offer could be a huge help to potential buyers.
6) Send postcards to everyone in your building letting them know your Chicago condo is for sale. If the people who get your postcards have friends or family members looking for a condo, they’ll pass the word along. And a lot of people like to live in a building where they know someone. Check your Yellow Pages under “Advertising—Direct Mail” to find a company that will handle this for you.
7) Promise your selling Realtor a closing bonus—make it $2,000 or more. Realtors only get paid when a deal closes, and the majority of Realtors are part-timers who only close on 1 to 3 homes a year. Make up flyers to advertise your offer and send them to all the real-estate offices near you. When Realtors see your bonus offer, they’ll work hard to sell your condo.
Use these simple—but powerful—strategies to get your Chicago condo noticed by qualified buyers . . . to set an asking price that they can’t turn down . . . and close the deal. You’ll be sitting back counting your money while your competitors’ condos sit for months on the MLS.
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