The home next door is in foreclosure.
The neighbors down the street just put their house up for sale at a ridiculous discount. And “For Sale” signs litter lawns all over town.
Welcome to the toughest selling conditions in years.
The bright side of selling a home in a down market is you get to seek your own bargain if you’re going to buy after you’re done. Closing a sale, however, can be teeth-grindingly slow if you don’t do everything right — and maybe even if you do.
“It’s probably the worst time you could find to sell a house since the late ’70s or early ’80s,” says Loren Keim, professor of real estate at Lehigh University.
Sales of previously occupied homes continue to sag after hitting a 13-year low last year. Even real estate professionals can be flummoxed by this market.
“Realtors sometimes shake our heads at the perceived randomness of it all,” says Katie Severance, a broker for ReMax in Upper Montclair, N.J.
A house that’s in a good location, fully updated and seems perfectly priced might sit on the market without a nibble.
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