Selling your home in this economy is better for your credit rating than letting it go to foreclosure. A short sale will ding your credit about 50 points compared to a full abandonment of the property which might ding you a full 200 points. That would drop you a full rating category even if you started out with pristine credit. If your credit wasn't perfect it will effect you even more. So think about selling and don't get silly about it. What the property is worth to you, is NOT what the property is worth. Truthfully, the property is not even worth what it cost to build it. If you've been living in it a while, the property is worth what the market will bear.

Real estate is like that. Sometimes dumpy houses are worth a lot because they are located on the beach in Hawai'i. While other houses, with fabulous interior design, might not be worth as much. So what if you love the pink childish curtains you brought back from India for the second bedroom? If the buyer has only boys, that design is of no value. It might even have negative appeal.

Never fear, things will sell and are selling even today. Home selling is as popular as ever now that homes have come so far down in price.

Things You Will Need

If you haven't got another place to live, get a storage for as much of your stuff that you don't need on a daily basis. The emptier the house, the easier it is for people to imagine their own lives taking place in your house. If you haven't got the money to front a storage box it up nicely and stack it in your garage, or shed.

Find a good real estate agent close to your home. Even a mediocre agent close to your home is better than a star far away. Real estate agents are people too - and they don't fancy driving long distances just to show a home. Besides a local agent will get your property on a local multiple listing, so other agents in the area can also show the home. This increases your chances of a sale greatly.

Update the information regarding your house on the internet on websites like Zillow. You never know when someone far away might buy your place sight unseen just for the investment. With homes so devalued the day will go to those who have capital. A sensible person will snap up as much as they can in the rural areas, which will retain value at a much more predictable rate than homes in Detroit.

Step 1

Before you even meet with the first agent do your own homework. Look around the neighborhood at what's selling and for how much. Make your asking price reasonable. If you make it high, thinking you can always come down you may scare off potential buyers. Once a property has languished on the market, even if you lower the price you've killed the excitement. The property is considered "stale." It's better to take it off the market, even for a week, so that the new listing can boast "New on Market!"

Step 2

Get rid of as much stuff as you can. As you go to store all your extra furniture use it as an opportunity to toss or give away anything you don't need. Remember anything you don't get rid of at the get go you'll have to move with later. So look over any object you haven't used in a year, and consider if it's cheaper to replace or cheaper to store. Of course things like taxes you have to keep forever.

Step 3

Once the house is relatively empty give it a thorough cleaning. Put ice cubes down on the carpet to bring up dents where heavy furniture once was. Clear off the dust from all the baseboards. Wipe the doors need the knobs where fingerprints are most prevalent on a daily basis until the house is sold. Make an effort to clean dishes out of the sink and off of the counter.

Step 4

Assess if you have the time or money for cosmetic fix ups like a new coat of paint. Fix anything small, like the broken door bell. Make sure the numbers of your address are clearly visible from the street. If you are going to paint the exterior of the house pick the most neutral color. Don't do a bold blue or vivid yellow that will narrow your buyer pool. Keep the lawn tidy. When you are satisfied with the home's appearance THEN and only THEN is it time to hire to realtor.

Step 5

Interview the realtors t to see if you can work with them. Don't hire anyone who bullies you or makes you feel stupid. Don't hire anyone who wears a pink jumpsuit to the interview. If they don't appear professional to you, they won't to your prospective buyers either. Don't worry about if they seem too charming or schmoozy, that might be a plus in their line of business. Don't be afraid to ask how many homes they have sold. New eager realtors may have more time to spend on your property. Older established ones might be better at the process. You'll know when you meet them. Pay attention to if they are paying attention to what you are saying.
If you are lucky enough to get a heads up before a buyer is coming by put some cookies in the oven. The smell is appealing to most people. Then try to be out of the way. Go outside and work on the garden, or find a neighbor to chat with. Appear friendly but disinterested. Let the realtor do her job.

Tips & Warnings

If you play your cards right you'll be able to get a nicer house in a better neighborhood in this economy. Homes that were appraised at over 500,000 are under 200,000 in my neighborhood right now, making it the perfect time to buy.