Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5 Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home

Selling your home is much more than just putting a sign in your yard; it's about getting your ducks in a row before the house hits the market.  That way, when buyers first step into your home, you've got the best chance to make a great first impression.  Below are the top 5 things to do before you sell your home.

1)  Hire a Real Estate Agent
Selling your home is a full time job.  From scheduling showings, to managing the paperwork and marketing your home, there's a lot of work that goes into effectively listing your home.  Do yourself a favor, leverage the knowledge and experience of a qualified agent, and reap the rewards of having a professional save you the time and hassle.  Agents will recognize what buyers are looking for in a home and recommend the best listing price for your unique situation.

2)  Pre-Inspect Your Home
If you were buying a pre-owned (used) car, would you rather buy one with or without a 15 point inspection?  Now, imagine your house is that used car...Buyers would much rather make an offer on a home that has been pre-inspected because chances are any major ticket items will be found and remedied before the listing hits the market.  Pre-Inspections are a necessity, in my opinion.

3)  Make Repairs NOW!
Spending time making repairs on a home that you're not going to be in much longer doesn't seem to make too much sense right?  Wrong.  Make the repairs ahead of time, using a qualified and reputable contractor, so when buyers see your home, they don't see all the little fixes that need to be done, they see a turn-key, finished product.  Making repairs ahead of time also removes the possibility that buyers will ask you to repair several items, or use those items as a negotiating tactic.  It just makes sense.

4)  Make an Impact
Just like when meeting people for the first time, make an impact by having your home show its best.  Professional stagers often offer an hour of consultation at reasonable prices to help you understand what you can do with all that clutter.  Since you're moving anyways, pack up all non-essential items and get them out now, maybe to a storage unit.  Clean your home from top to bottom and make your home welcoming to potential buyers.  You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

5)  Avoid Overpricing
Overpricing your home is a killer.  Have your Realtor prepare a market analysis on your home so you understand where you should be pricing it.  Ask to visit comparable active properties to yours within your neighborhood so that you can understand what your competition is and exactly what you need to do to be competitive.  Most of your home's buyers will lose interest or never see your home if it's overpriced to begin with.  Seek the advice of a professional and put your ego aside.  It's a tough market and tough decisions need to be made.

With all this in mind, your home will be in an excellent position to sell quickly and for more money.  If you've been thinking about selling, please contact me and I'll help you understand if it's the right time for you.

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