How to sell an apartment in a slow market

[] Although the process of selling an apartment can be as tedious as buying one, there are several steps that home owners can take, to elicit a good response from prospective buyers

While it is not advisable to sell your apartment, when the real estate market is witnessing a slowdown, sometimes, it may be unavoidable. You may have been transferred to another city, or may be in need of a bigger or smaller apartment. Here are some tips that will help you get the best deal.

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Give your property a makeover

This involves taking care of the basics. The makeover should not be elaborate or involve substantial expenditure. Water seepage, leaking pipes, cracked masonry, broken window panes, etc., should all be repaired before you show the apartment to potential buyers. Applying a fresh coat of paint also makes the apartment more attractive. Remember, buyers will generally prefer a house that involves minimal expenditure on repairs.

Keep the apartment clean and ventilated. If the prospective buyer finds the apartment dirty or smelling musty, it could turn him off. Remove all objects and signs that identify the apartment with you. In other words, make the place completely impersonal.

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Experts suggest that it is best to advertise locally first. People who already live in the same area, or have relatives living in the area, tend to have a higher interest in buying a house in the same locality. You can do this, by putting up a notice in your housing complex. You may also pay the residents’ welfare association (RWA) a small fee and put up small advertisements at critical places in and around the complex. One can also utilise the online forums that the housing complex may have, to inform residents about your intent to sell.

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Enlist a good broker

If the above steps do not work, get in touch with a couple of good brokers. Reputed brokers tend to have a large and updated list of prospective buyers. When you give the mandate to sell to only a couple of good brokers, they have a greater incentive to work on your behalf. A broker’s fee ranges from 0.5%-2%.

List the property online

Listing the property on online portals has its pros and cons. While it will help you reach a wider audience, too many people may approach you, not all of whom may be serious buyers. You may also be approached by a number of brokers, including unscrupulous ones.

Get the pricing right

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In the present market scenario, where not many transactions are taking place, it is crucial to quote the right price for your property, points out Ajay Nangia, a US-based non-resident Indian, who experienced this problem with his apartment in New Delhi. “I initially priced it wrong but soon realised the mistake,” he says.

To quote the correct price, gather information on the value at which similar properties have been recently sold in your area. As the market is prone to fluctuations, it is also important to be flexible, with respect to the price. “As a tactical move, you should price the apartment slightly lower than other similar ones, to generate interest among buyers. Also, be prepared to offer some discount during the negotiation. Such sweeteners help to finalise the deal faster,” advises Rajan Ahuja, director of Realty & Vertical, a Gurgaon-based real estate broking firm.

A good broker will also help you arrive at the right price. If you have made certain enhancements to it, he will factor those in, to arrive at the right price.

Real estate is an illiquid asset. In a sluggish market, it can take three to six months to sell your apartment. Therefore, you will have to exercise patience.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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