Market Watch: “Luring first time home buyers”

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — A federal tax credit of up to $8,000 is nudging many Americans into buying a home for the first time, good news for those trying to sell one.

Still, selling a home isn’t easy in most markets today. To get the typical first-time buyer to bite and submit an offer, a house has to stand apart from the competition — and there’s a lot of it, including foreclosure homes that are selling at hefty discounts.

One big thing working in favor of the traditional seller: A lived-in, maintained home is easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in than a vacant foreclosure. That has great appeal for someone buying a home for the first time, for practical and financial reasons.

“First-time buyers are skeptical of buying homes that need improvement. Sellers certainly don’t need to remodel the kitchen, but they want to make sure that their home showcases very well,” said Eric Mangan, a spokesman for ForSaleByOwner.com.

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