When real estate is rocking and rolling, selling a property is easy.  Give it a dust-off, put it on the market, and sit back and watch people try to out-bid each other.  But when the market goes south - whether due to national or local setbacks, selling becomes more of an art form.  Inventory usually increases, prices often have dips, and properties are all competing for the same paucity of buyers.

First, let's talk about appearance.  First impressions can make or break the interest in a property.  If the front door is faded or mildewed, potential buyers are turned off, and there is no taking back that first impression.  Buyers interpret neglected entrances as a sign of more far-reaching deferred maintenance.   Power wash the entrance, touch up paint or stain, pot a couple of potted plants with a pot of color - red geraniums make a splash - and create a welcoming environment.

Ever Seller thinks their property is special.  Especially in down markets, it's essential for a Seller to think like a Buyer - look at your property as though you were buying it.  Nail holes where pictures once hung, or flat, listless finish on your flooring?  Perk it up!  Don't just try to patch walls and "touch up" the paint - even when applied from the original paint can, the paint will not match; the paint on the wall will have faded, while the paint in the bucket stayed fresh.  Paint the entire wall - quick fixes can work against you.

Don't spend money uselessly.  Ask a professional REALTOR which items will bring you a return on your investment, and which will be wasted money.  Kitchens and bath usually have the great return, while things like swimming pools return perhaps a fraction of their original cost.

Price competitively.  Yes, you do need a little "wiggle room," but pricing considerably above market price is counter-productive.  Instead, stick to your price.  Pricing considerably above market value is a huge mistake.

How do you price your house.   NOT with a "Zestimate" from Zillow or any other free website; most Multiple Listing Systems don't allow such sites to have their "sold" data, so the companies "estimate" what a house might have sold for - more like a guesstimate.  Licensed professional REALTORS have access to that data, and can help you price the house competitively - and have the resources to market your property.  During a down market, it's important to have not just exposure, but the right exposure.  Want that great exposure and the correct pricing?  There's one ready source:  Just Ask Allen.