Homes: buying, selling & credits
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Selling your home in a crowded market

In today's economy, it's tough enough to sell just one home in a neighborhood. But when there are multiple "for sale" signs on the same street, sellers often fear they're in for an especially long, trying experience.

A crowded market creates visions of price wars among neighbors who've lived on the same block for years. Sellers may also worry that potential buyers will conclude that something must be wrong with the neighborhood if everyone wants to leave.

Surprisingly, neighborhoods with multiple homes for sale may have a few unique marketing advantages, says Rhonda Duffy, owner and broker of Duffy Realty in Atlanta.

"As a buyer, it's easier to visit a street that has several homes for sale than to make a trip to just one property," she says.

When more buyers visit your street, there's a better chance they'll see your home. That may increase your odds of receiving a good offer.

To help the process along, here are seven things you can do to improve your odds of a sale when the neighbors are selling too.

1. Suggest a joint open house

If the family next door and the people down the street have houses on the market, suggest hosting a combined open house on the same day, Duffy says.

"Try to work with the other sellers so that everyone is supporting each other instead of competing against each other," she says. "You might even agree to distribute each other's fliers."

A combined open house can bring in more people while also giving buyers a glimpse of how well residents in the neighborhood get along. If the interactions are positive, it reflects well on the sellers, Duffy says.

Lori McGuire, a real estate agent and president of the McGuire Team, a part of Remax Select One in south Orange County, Calif., knows it can be hard to get competing owners to work together.

However, she says tough market conditions often force sellers, and their Realtors, to give it a try.

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For instance, McGuire has talked to Realtors about taking turns putting up "for sale" signs in neighborhoods with many homes on the market. That way, buyers who drive into the neighborhood "don't see 20 (signs) on the same street."

"That number may seem hard to believe, but it's possible for that many houses to be up for sale if the home is in a newer neighborhood and it's competing with other homes that the developer just built," she says.

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