2010 Real Estate Guide
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real estate
Selling a home: 5 wacky ways

On second thought: Don't include items, such as lawn or recreational equipment, in the ad for the home. But during negotiations, you might want to throw in the pool table or lawn mower to help seal the deal.

4. Swap lives

Finding strangers with the same housing preferences and the desire to change homes might seem difficult, but it's happening, with some transactions aided by Web sites such as GoSwap.org and OnlineHouseTrading.com.

The chances are slim that you'll find a match of two perfectly equal homes in different locations, says Helfant-Browning, principal broker with Coldwell Banker Professional, Realtors in Virginia Beach, Va. But, she says, the idea often works when one person with a lot of equity in a home wants to move up and the homeowner in the biggest house is willing to downsize.

"It's sound for someone with a large home who may be looking to move down and the move down isn't the home of their dreams, but it might make economic (sense)," she says.

On second thought: This could be the chance for an investment. Some people improve the smaller residence to sell when the market rebounds, or to rent it to generate extra income.

5. Sell to a builder

This is a version of the swapping idea, with the builder willing to buy your residence if you put a contract on one of the builder's new homes.

It's an investment decision on the part of a builder, who must decide how much it will cost the company to renovate and pay the mortgage, Helfant-Browning says.

Sellers shouldn't expect to make a hefty profit with this strategy. The builder typically will take it below the asking price because of the risk involved.

On second thought: If the buyer is "upside down" in the home -- they owe more than the home is worth -- it's more difficult to trade, Helfant-Browning says.

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