Be prepared to slash prices if you want to sell

In today’s market, you have to price aggressively if you expect to attract multiple offers.
By Amy Hoak of MarketWatch

With no federal tax credit to entice buyers, today’s home sellers have to get even more serious about making a deal.

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That means pricing aggressively — low enough to compete with foreclosures in some markets. It’s a conversation that stings, said Summer Greene, a real-estate agent for a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokerage office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“It’s like telling them that their children are ugly,” she said.

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Many people with homes on the market already are slashing prices to catch buyers’ attention. Twenty-four percent of listings on the market as of July 1 had gone through at least one price reduction — that’s a 9% increase from the previous month, according to the most recent data from, a real-estate listings website.

Price cuts are more prevalent in some markets than others, and the average size of the cut varies, too. In Minneapolis, for example, 40% of the listings had at least one reduction and the average reduction was 9% of the listing price. In Las Vegas, 12% of the homes had price cuts, but the reductions averaged 15% off the listing price.

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Reducing their price is one way sellers are trying to weather the “tax-credit hangover” now affecting the country, said Tara Nelson, consumer educator for Slashing the price is the one thing a seller can do these days to attract attention.

“There’s just not a whole lot of incentive right now for buyers to urgently buy,” Nelson said. Mortgage rates have been relatively low for a while, so buyers aren’t concerned they’ll miss that window, and inventory has been creeping up since April, she said. To be eligible for the homebuyer tax credit, buyers needed to have a contract on a house by April 30.

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