DEAR BOB: Our home has been listed for sale for more than four months, but we've had no offers. The realty agent says buyers are waiting, hoping interest rates will drop. But we must sell now so we can move out of town where we have bought a new home. We can't afford to keep up the $550 mortgage payment much longer. Any ideas to get our home sold? F. G., Rockville.
DEAR F. G.: A short-term lease-option is the ideal marketing device for your situation. Have your agent advertise your house as follows: "Weekend open house. One-year lease at $600 per month, option to buy at today's price any time within a year; $30,000 moves you in."
There are plenty of potential buyers who will snap up a good deal like that.
DEAR BOB: Recently you suggested that a home buyer obtain a comparative market analysis before making an offer to buy a home. How is this obtained? Juan W., Beltsville.
DEAR JUAN: The real estate agent offering the home for sale should gladly prepare one for you free. Tell her or him, "Before I make an offer to buy this house, please show me a comparative market analysis so I know what the house is worth." This written analysist will show recent sales prices and terms of nearby homes, as well as listing prices of similar neighborhood homes that have not yet sold. Disregard asking prices, since they are irrelevant to market values of neighborhood homes. This device is also a great way to drive down the home seller's asking price.