Numerous factors affect the housing market, and right now, decreased home values and increased foreclosures go hand in hand. When foreclosures show up in your community, they can drag down the value of your home, they can cause potential home buyers to purchase cheap foreclosed homes over your more expensive home and they can even decrease the value of your neighborhood as a whole when vandalism is targeted at vacant foreclosed homes.
Even though you can’t prevent foreclosed homes from showing up in your neighborhood, you can take steps to prevent neighborhood vandalism and value decreases.
To prevent neighborhood vandalism, you could create a community watch party. Gather your local neighbors for a meeting to discuss watching over vacant homes on a regular basis. Perhaps you could create a schedule so that someone is keeping an eye on vacant homes at all times. If any suspicious activity is spotted around a house, or anywhere in the neighborhood, the person on watch duty could call the local police department to come check it out. Not only will this type of action prevent vandalism and unwanted neighborhood visitors, but it will also create a close bond between neighbors that will look positive to potential home buyers.
To protect the value of your home specifically, increase the curb appeal of your home until it looks impeccable. You want potential home buyers to view your home as a smart and worthy investment. If they see a house that shows off flawless qualities, they’ll forget about the cheaper foreclosed homes down the road that display overgrown lawns and peeling paint. To increase your home’s curb appeal, apply a fresh coat of paint to the exterior, fences, benches, front porch poles, mailboxes, garage doors, window shutters and anything that looks used. Also, keep the lawn mowed and the bushes trimmed. Pull weeds from around foliage. For extra appeal, display colorful flowers in pots that flank the front entryway.
Once you reach the goal of gaining interest in potential buyers, don’t lose that interest. Instead of immediately agreeing to lower your price to compete with foreclosed prices, explain to the buyers that your home’s value is worth more than that. Opt to include bonuses in the transaction instead. For example, you could pay the closing costs for the buyer, you could include select furnishings and accessories with the home, or you could add upgrades to the home without increasing the price. If the buyer still insists that you lower the price, do so intelligently. Don’t panic.
Your home is valuable. Keep that in mind as you attempt to sell now!