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Home-selling Strategies by Chris Kaucnik

RISMEDIA, January 9, 2009-We know you might prefer not to, but think back to 2008. We’re talking about November-ish when NAR came out with its 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Maybe you glanced over the survey numbers; maybe you didn’t. But, after a review, we’ve found a real silver lining for real estate. It may even be the harbinger of how our futures might begin to shape up again in our neighborhoods and communities.

From a buyer’s perspective, the survey showed an increasing level of first-time home buyers. While this is good news in itself, it isn’t what struck us as most important. It’s how they are buying that’s more important. They are buying smarter with the intention of staying in the home a lot longer, and they are taking out fixed-rate mortgages, while providing down payments from savings.

OK, maybe these first-time home buyers are being nudged into fixed-rate loans and higher down payments by their lenders, but nevertheless, they have the savings and are buying. That’s all good, along with the fact that they have no other home to sell. We believe this trend will help restore our communities with an infusion of young people and families, and it will create more investment and engagement in them for the longer term. And that’s just what the economists’ ordered for stability and normal appreciation of home values to resume.

At the risk of turning you into a junkie, we’ll give you some more good news. Only 1% of sellers chose their agent based on his or her commission; nine out of 10 would use the same agent again and refer that agent, while 81% used a full-service brokerage.

Home buyers and sellers understand the value a real estate agent brings to the transaction and truly want to have a great relationship they can leverage into their next transaction. They also appreciate the need in this economy to go the extra mile to help you sell their home. Over 40% of agents offered incentives to attract buyers, such as home warranties and assistance with closing costs.

This also tells us buying or selling a home remains the largest decision consumers generally make in their lives, and they will not engage just anyone to guide them through it-no matter what the economic conditions. They crave your personal contact, negotiation skills and valued expertise in the neighborhoods and communities you serve.

Start the new year out with these positive thoughts and have an incredibly successful 2009!

Chris Kaucnik is marketing director for Home Warranty of America, Inc.

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