Selling your home is no longer a simple business. With the current economic outlook, things may get pretty tight. Regardless, you want the best price on your house no matter how the market is moving. Here are 10 steps to make more money selling your home by leveraging your local marketplace:
1. Be Viral Friendly. Every home for sale competes with your property so how do you stand out? It’s estimated that 92 percent of all buyers search the Internet for a home so that’s a medium where you have to excel. Good pictures and strong videos are a must.
2. Take Care of Maintenance. This means all appliances work, nothing leaks, walls are painted and papered and all surfaces are clean.
3. Focus on Cleanliness. The time to clean out a home is before you sell. The reason? Less stuff creates a sense of more space.
4. Don’t Over-Improve. The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the most expensive neighborhood they can afford. Translation: If you have the cheapest home on the block the odds of a quick sale go up. Have a home which is consistent with the neighborhood.
5. Shop Around. A better idea is to speak with several negotiators who are active and successful in your neighborhood and let them compete for your business. Beware of the negotiator who offers an unrealistically-high price, a valuation which is likely to mean your property will lag unsold on the market for months – at which point the price will come down.
6. Look for Experience. Although you may have a friend who is casually “in the business,” a negotiator with a lot of experience and success is the person you want to market your home and represent your interests. Also – and this can be important – a negotiator with a lot of local experience can be seen as an “authority figure.” When they set the price of a home there’s a credibility that may not extend to someone who has sold fewer homes.
7. Set a Reasonable Price. This must be consistent with the neighborhood. It can be helpful to visit open houses before you place your home on the market to see how other properties compare. This is also a good way to meet local negotiators to see how well they represent client properties.
8. Have Faith in the Open House. Real estate professionals debate the value of open houses and to a large degree it depends on the particular property. That said, the goal is to get as many people to see the property as possible so when considering a negotiator ask about their experience with open houses and what they recommend for your home.
9. Look at More Than Just Offer Price. When you get an offer realize that it’s just part of the process. Does the buyer want “seller contributions,” money to off-set closing costs? Are you required to make repairs? Does the buyer have the finances to readily get a mortgage? Have the negotiator show how much you will get at closing if the buyer’s offer is accepted and look carefully at the buyer’s financial capacity.
10. Leave Some Wiggle Room. Always have a little room to bargain more. It’s not uncommon that some adjustments are required to close the deal – maybe a specific repair to overcome an inspection or a willingness to let the buyers move in before closing with a pre-settlement occupancy agreement. Whatever the case, remember that the point is to sell the house and don’t let little issues distract you from your goal.
*Courtesy of Pete Miller from Househunt.com. Peter Miller is a nationally-syndicated real estate columnist and the author of six books published originally by Harper & Row. He blogs regularly at OurBroker.com.