Nail that sale: Joe and Jeannie Leocha

This couple in Fairfax, Va., faces a sagging market and needs to get more aggressive with their marketing.

Shower them with extras
Everyone likes to think they're getting a bargain. Even a small incentive can make buyers believe they're getting the better end of a deal and may tip the scales in favor of a sale.

While the Leochas can't match the freebies that builders are increasingly offering on new homes - gourmet kitchens and spending sprees at Pottery Barn, for example - they might offer to pay some of the buyer's closing costs, provide a home warranty covering repairs for the first year (say, if the AC breaks down or the fridge dies) or throw in a washer and dryer for free.

To entice more brokers to show the property, their marketing materials should trumpet the fact that they're paying the traditional 3 percent commission that buyer's agents get. Hey, realtors need a little motivation too.

Update: The Leochas have made most of the suggested cosmetic changes but haven't done more marketing and are holding firm on the four-bedroom listing and price. They still haven't gotten an offer, in part because so few buyers have come to look at the house. If their home doesn't sell soon, the couple say, they'll hire a realtor to take over the marketing for them.
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