This is the toughest time we've seen for home sellers, perhaps since the Great Depression. The early 1980s were grim, when interest rates were near 18 percent and buyers couldn't qualify for financing. Months went by when virtually nothing sold. There is sales activity in the current market, but there are many more listings that aren't selling than are. There are exceptions: high-demand price ranges or neighborhoods where there are very few homes for sale. Two examples in the San Francisco Bay Area are Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood -- within walking distance of the rail transit system (BART), shops and cafes -- and the $900,000 to $1.4 million price range for a 3- to 4-bedroom long-term house in nearby Piedmont, where the public schools are stellar. Even if you're fortunate to own in a highly coveted area, you're selling in a difficult market. You still need to properly prepare your home for sale. Today's buyers want turnkey condition. And it must be priced right for the m...
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