Selling your home is one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. This simple system will provide the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home-selling process.
Know why you are selling and keep it to yourself. The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What is more important to you? The money you walk away with, the length of time your property is on the market, or a combination of both? Different goals will dictate different selling strategies. However, it is critical that you do not reveal your reasons to anyone else, because it could come back to haunt you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply explain that your housing needs have changed.
Be sure to do your homework before setting a price. Settling on an offering price should not be done lightly. In a hot seller’s market, should you set your asking price too low, be prepared to receive offers over and above your asking price. However, remember that pricing your house too high is very dangerous. The average homebuyer will view and compare dozens of homes on the Internet at the same time they are considering yours. This means that they have a basis of comparison, and if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you have set, your home will sit on the market and prospective buyers will not take you seriously. The longer your home sits on the market, the more likely people will think that there is a problem with it.
Work with your agent to find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past three to six months. Research what current homes on the market are listed at. It’s the same process that buyers will undertake when assessing the value of your home.
Find a good real estate agent that represents your needs. Nearly three quarters of all homeowners claim that they would not use the same real estate agent who sold their last home. Dissatisfaction boils down to poor communication and lack of feedback, which will ultimately result in lower prices and strained relationships.
Be sure to maximize your home’s sales potential. Each year, corporate America spends billions of dollars on product packaging and design. Appearance is critical, and it would be foolish to ignore this fact when selling your home.
You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a great many things to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates greater emotional response from prospective buyers than any other factor. Before showings, clean like you have never cleaned before. Scrub, scour, and otherwise make everything spotless. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get the best possible reaction from those viewing it. Your home’s condition and how it shows will greatly affect your sales price and time on the market.
Allow buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based a high level of emotion. Prospective buyers are trying on your home the same way they would try on a new suit before buying it. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or making excuses for a lack of upkeep, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves as the new owners.
Make it simple for prospects to obtain information on your home. You would be surprised to know that some marketing tools that most agents use to sell house (such as traditional open houses) are generally not very effective. In fact, only about one percent of homes are sold at an open house.
Prospects calling for information on your home value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with an agent or unwanted sales pitches. Make sure the ads your agent places for your home are attached to a 24-hour information hotline with a specific identification number for your home which gives prospects detailed information at all times. It has been proven that three to five times more buyers call for information on a home when they have access to a free-recorded message rather than talking with an agent directly. Remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home, the better. It will set up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.
Ask your agent what he or she can find out about the buyers. In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and direction of the sale. If you know the buyers’ motivations, whether they need to move quickly, and whether or not they have enough money to pay for the home, will give you the upper hand once negotiations begin.
Make sure that the contract is complete. For your part as a seller, you must be certain to disclose everything about the property. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond legal requirements to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows of a problem beforehand, they cannot come back to you with a lawsuit later on. Provide a detailed list and have the buyer sign for items that do not stay.
All terms, costs, and responsibilities have to be spelled out in the contract. Do not divert from this contract. For example, if the buyer requests to move in before the agreed upon date, you should say no. Once these terms are all in place, it is dangerous to deviate and could potentially lead to the collapse of the whole sale.
Finally, if you need to move out before you sell your home, steam clean the carpets, paint all the walls, and have a gardener water and maintain your lawn. Make sure that your agent markets it as being vacant, available for a quick close and immediate occupancy.
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