Top 10 Tips When Selling a Home

August 17, 2011

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Selling a home in a down economy can be a painstaking decision. Use the following 10 tips when selling a home to get the most out of your investment.

Home Selling Tip #1: Hire a reputable real estate agent.

Fotolia 896996 XS 300x200 Top 10 Tips When Selling a HomeSelling a home can be stressful, and you want a reliable real estate agent you can trust to take some of the burden of selling a home off your hands. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a listing agent who will give 110 percent to get your home sold. You can also go to www.JustListed.com to be connected to a realtor® who is a local expert in your area.

Home Selling Tip #2: Give your home curb appeal.

When selling a home, you need to keep your home looking its best. If a buyer is turned off by what your home looks like from the street, you will never get him or her inside to look around. Clean up your lawn, patch brown spots in the grass, clear sidewalks, and keep leaves and other debris picked up. Potential home buyers also notice things like chipped paint and dirty siding, so pressure-wash your home and repaint before putting it on the market if needed. Do whatever you need to do to show buyers that you’re serious about your home’s maintenance. Finally, choose the best colors to paint a home to sell. Yellow evokes the emotion of buying, so plant yellow flowers near the entrance.

Home Selling Tip #3: Make minor repairs to your home.

Don’t give potential home buyers an opportunity to start nitpicking at the value of your home by leaving minor repairs unfixed. Replace cracked floor or counter tiles. Patch holes in walls. Repair any leaky plumbing. Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. If you need to paint your walls, choose colors that are easy on the eyes – think off-white, not bright red. Be sure to replace any light bulbs that are not functioning properly.

Home Selling Tip #4: Stage your home.

Once you have a potential home buyer inside, it’s important that your home has been spruced up and has been staged for the market. Think of your home as a product for sale, and imagine walking through it from the buyer’s perspective. Depersonalize it by packing up family heirlooms and photos. You want buyers to imagine themselves living in the home and they won’t do that if they can’t see past your stuff. Rent a storage unit and clear out the junk. De-clutter. Remove unused pieces of furniture and window coverings and light fixtures you are going to take with you. Each room should be left with just enough furniture to showcase it as the perfect room for its purpose. Remove books, knickknacks, and anything that seems deeply personal. Clear out closets and neatly arrange your dishes in the kitchen cupboards.

Home Selling Tip #5: Clean your home!

Be sure to wash all windows on both the inside and outside of your home. Remove cobwebs from corners, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Check to see if any bathroom areas need re-caulking. Make sure faucets and other surfaces shine. Don’t just scrub the outside of your refrigerator – empty and clean the inside too. Vacuum frequently, preferably every day. If you have wood floors, clean and wax them. Dust furniture with an oil-based furniture polish that leaves a “clean” scent behind. Check the tiles on a backsplash or in the bathroom and make sure the grout is clean. Remove or replace rugs that look too worn out. And finally, eliminate any musty odors.

Home Selling Tip #6: Price your home right.

Of all of the 10 tips for selling a home, this one is the most important. You need to price your home competitively, perhaps slightly lower than comparable homes in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, many sellers choose the real estate agent who suggests the highest listing price, but this can come back to haunt you. Pricing your home to sell involves looking at similar properties, making adjustments for the differences between them, tracking market movements and considering present inventory to arrive at a realistic value for the price of your home. Setting your listing price just right could lead to a bidding war, resulting in a higher sales price for you. Work with your listing agent to price your home correctly.

Home Selling Tip #7: Capture initial excitement.

Don’t put your home on the market before your home and you are completely ready. Make sure you have taken all of the steps above before placing your home on the market. When selling a home, you need to get the most out of the initial excitement that a new home listing creates in potential home buyers. Home buyers will feel like they have discovered a great find if they snatch up a home just as it comes on the market. Once it’s been listed for a few weeks, however, home buyers will conclude that it’s not such a great value. Therefore, when selling a home, make sure you’ve done everything you can to make your home attractive to potential home buyers.

Home Selling Tip #8: Don’t get in over your head.

Put your home on the market well in advance of looking for a new home. Don’t place an offer on your next home until you have solid offers on the one you have to sell now. The last thing you want to do is juggle two mortgage payments.

Home Selling Tip #9: Only divulge information on a need-to-know basis.

Don’t do anything to create a perception that you will lower your potential selling price. For example, if you are moving due to job relocation, don’t offer up that information. Don’t let the potential home buyers think there is any urgency on your part in selling the home. If you are asked why you’re selling, simply say that you’re ready to trade up. You have a legal obligation to disclose information about the condition of the home and property, but you are not obligated to disclose your personal situation.

Home Selling Tip #10: Be flexible.

Be willing to work with potential home buyers to help your chances of making a quick sale. Offer to pay for closing costs or repairs, and be adaptable when it comes to showing your home and holding open houses. If you really need to sell, you need to accommodate buyers’ busy schedules. This might mean opening your home to strangers on weeknights and weekends.

Using these 10 tips when selling a home can help you sell your home fast and for a good price. Do you have any additional home selling tips you’d like to share? Please comment and let’s make this top 10 list even stronger.

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