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Sell Your House Faster in a Tough Market

Tips & Trends

From Rory S. Coakley on some of the latest real estate news and happenings.

It’s an extreme buyer’s market – and home values could fall another 5% by year-end. Here’s how to meet the challenge faster, cheaper and better.


Underprice the place by 10%. Doing so will be painful, no question. But with cheap foreclosures still flooding real estate markets around the country, listing your home for less than comparable ones in your neighborhood is the best way of unloading it as quickly as possible. By making your home look like a bargain, you’ll attract a crowd, says Steve Murray, editor of Real Trends newsletter and ideally start a bidding war. Remember: Your listing price is not necessarily your selling price.

Time it takes: A home underpriced by 10% in Somerdale, N.J., for example, might sell in a few days rather than in the typical four months, says realtor Denise Riordan

How much it costs: This strategy may cost you thousands of dollars – but you’ll slash your carrying costs.


Go it alone. Doing an FSBO (for sale by owner) isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll have to figure out the right price, handle all marketing, run open houses, and haggle with buyers. So go this route only if you have confidence in your sale and negotiating skills.

Time it takes: You’ll put in dozens of hours, and a sale may take a while.

How much it costs: $299 to post your home on a multiple-listing service (peanuts compared with the 6% realtor commission you’ll save).


Adopt a multi pronged strategy. Use an experienced agent but negotiate the commission: Murray says that many agents these days are willing to drop to 5%, from the standard 6%, if you agree to price your home aggressively and get it in move-in condition yourself. (Hire a home stager to help) And don’t rely on the broker to do all the marketing: Pitch in by using social media such as Facebook to publicize your listing.

Time it takes: You’ll spend a few days on these tasks but may cut the time your house lingers on the market

How much it costs: Home stagers charge $150 to $400 to give recommendations.


If you would like to suggest a topic for comment in one of our future emailers, please let me know. You can always reach me at or by phone 301-340-8700. I look forward to hearing from you!

Rory S. Coakley
Coakley Realty, Inc.
20 Courthouse Square, Suite 107
Rockville, MD 20850

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