LGBT home sellers should understand that it is still a buyer’s market and that the average time it takes to sell a home is more indicative of a bear market than it is of a bullish one. With that in mind, LGBT homeowners who hope to sell in 2011 are encouraged to be proactive about marketing their properties while avoiding common pitfalls. Otherwise, homes may languish on the market without attracting even a nibble. That can be really demoralizing and frustrating for sellers who are already somewhat impatient due to the tough challenges that the real estate market has presented over these past few years.

Without a doubt, 2011 is the best time in years for LGBT homeowners to successfully market their property. Follow these tips and it is possible to not only attract qualified buyers but also enjoy a quicker sale — with potentially higher profits — while overcoming many of the aggravating hurdles faced by other sellers.

1. Start planning now

Many homeowners wait until they have hired a Realtor to start strategizing about how to market their homes, but those who plan ahead will also come out ahead in the end. For example, it might have been too soon for buyers to start shopping for houses during the frigid month of February. Times like those are better used prepping a home for a faster springtime sale and spring is just around the corner. Do minor repairs, add cosmetic paint to interior surfaces, update fixtures and appliances or just focus on getting rid of clutter and packing up items that can be stowed away to make rooms and closets look tidier and larger.

2. Pricing is the name of the game

Once it is time to list the home, price it right the first time instead of engaging in too much wishful fishing around for an unreasonably high offer. Today’s buyers are pragmatic and they crunch the numbers before they even go out to see property. So, homeowners who hope to set a high price, and then later lower it if they do not get enough buyer interest, run the risk of losing valuable time as other competing homes sell because they are more sensibly priced. Keep in mind that the pool of qualified buyers who can get their mortgage loans approved in this economy is limited, while the inventory of wonderful homes at great prices is huge. Don’t leave money on the table by offering a home too cheaply, but don’t price it so high that it gets priced right out of the market.

3. Convert lookers into buyers

In a real estate market with fewer buyers, it is important to make every viewing count. If the home does not look its very best the first time a potential buyer makes an appointment and comes to tour it, they will not return again and they certainly won’t make an offer. Coordinate every showing with the Realtor to ensure that before the buyer steps onto the property the curb appeal is alluring, the home is clean and any excess clutter is gone or stored away so that the square footage of the house is not disguised, but emphasized. Open the curtains and blinds, turn on a few lights, take the pets to the park and feel confident that the buyer will see the home in its most attractive and marketable condition.

4. Don’t hurry up just to wait around

It is also important to have Realtors screen buyers carefully ahead of time, to make sure they have strong financial support to make a purchase. Jumping at the first good offer that a buyer makes may be exciting, but it also means that the home will have a sale pending. That status typically discourages other potential buyers from looking. If the home is held up by a pending transaction that later falls apart because the buyer did not qualify for a mortgage, precious time is lost. This is especially true in springtime when home sales are more robust than at other times of year. By the time an LGBT seller realizes that the buyer isn’t qualified, it may be too late to take advantage of the busiest selling season of 2011.

5. Concede a battle to win the war

Don’t blow a great opportunity to complete a sale because of minor squabbles or conflicting personalities. It is better to concede a minor negotiation of terms and conditions in order to close the sale than it is to win an argument by sacrificing the entire transaction. To ensure smoother negotiations, home sellers should only work with listing agents with whom they communicate exceptionally well and feel a natural rapport. LGBT sellers often find those qualities easier by shopping for Realtors who are actively supportive of the LGBT community. : :

Photo Credit: bgottsab, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.