If you have a home for sale or are thinking of putting your home on the market, you have probably been closely following the recent housing-related news. The media has speculated that the real estate "bubble" is bursting and issued warnings about the potential of a looming crisis resulting from subprime mortgage lending practices.
Like many media stories, those about the housing market often make generalized statements and ignore either the subtleties or the larger picture. While it's true that, in the United States, houses are on the market about twice as long as they were a year ago, the drop in housing prices hasn't affected all parts of the country equally. In fact, the current real estate situation isn't even confined to the United States. In recent interviews, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has noted that housing markets are making corrections in countries ranging from Great Britain to Australia.
What does this mean if you have a house for sale? Depending on where it's located, you may need to adjust your asking price slightly, so that it is in alignment with today's market prices. More importantly, however, you need to utilize every tool available to showcase your real estate for sale - especially if you're in a "for sale by owner" situation. After all, real estate is a numbers game, and one of the most important numbers is how many potential buyers see your property.
One of the tools people underutilize when they have a home for sale is the Internet. In addition to a multiple listing service, there are interactive real estate sites that bring sellers and buyers together. The best sites offer owners a free, six-month property listing with no obligation. Creating a site listing isn't an involved process; in fact, it typically takes no more than 15 minute, including the time it takes to upload photographs. This type of site serves to give your home added exposure to property seekers, who can search properties by major region, country, province or state, and type of property.
Because of the fluctuating housing prices in some markets, there are people who reconsider putting up their home for sale - especially if it is a second home or a vacation home. Instead, they opt to turn it into a home rental and go the "for rent by owner" route. If the property is located in a vacation destination, they often choose to make their property into a vacation rental. This way, they can cover the expenses associated with owning the home (and perhaps earn additional income) until the housing market stabilizes.
As is the case when an owner has a home for sale, interactive real estate sites provide those who own vacation rentals, condo rentals, villa rentals, or even an apartment for rent, an addition source of free advertising to potential renters and vacationers.
In today's real estate market - whether you have a home for sale or choose to convert your real estate into a rental property - it pays to maximize your exposure to buyers and renters through an online interactive real estate.