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Published: Sunday, 10/21/2012

Simple tips can ignite bidding for your home


While it's a far cry from the heady days of the real estate bubble, the revival of home bidding wars in some parts of the country spells opportunity for sellers.

If you live in an area that's in demand, there are ways to create a buyer frenzy. Here are five strategies:

(BULLET)Price it to sell. If you overprice your home, you won't draw much buyer interest, and the house will languish on the market.

You must analyze the comparables and then price the home slightly below what it's worth, according to Michael Corbett, author of “Ready, Set, SOLD!” ‘'You don't want to go much lower than what the house is really worth because when you underprice, people will think something is wrong and start lowballing you.”

(BULLET)Host a broker open house. The more real estate agents who know your house is on the market, the more potential offers you can draw. “A lot of times, brokers have a buyer in mind and see your property and think, ‘Oh wow, this property is perfect for this buyer,’” says Doug Breaker, president and CEO of HomeFinder.com.

Hosting a broker open house is your agent's job. Your agent will know all the local players and how to lure them to the showing.

(BULLET)Create a Web site for your home. Leverage the Internet and social networks to create buzz about your house. Post pictures of the house and share the link on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and anywhere else potential buyers may hang out.

The Web site should contain a lot of pictures and a diagram of the floor plan.

(BULLET)Stage the house. Make sure it's free of clutter, scrubbed of pictures and personal items, and with neutral decor. “It has to look like it's out of the Pottery Barn magazine,” says Brendon DeSimone, a San Francisco real estate expert.

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