Selling your home is a tough thing to do. Most sellers want to sell their home as quickly as possible. And, of course, they want to sell it at the highest price possible. That sounds simple, but it is not. It takes the help of a good real estate agent to aid in setting the price, preparing the home, and marketing the home effectively to attract buyers. Once you are ready to get started, your real estate agent will help you.

Choosing an Experienced Real Estate Agent

One of the most important things you can do when you are selling your home is to find the right real estate agent. An experienced agent can sell your home quickly, instead of letting it sit on the market for months.

A real estate agent can help you price your home to sell. The price must be competitive for the area where you live and it must be comparable to other homes that are similar in size and style. A real estate agent can get all of that information for you and give you a price that is reasonable. They have access to information that you will be unable to get, and they can save you time doing research. Not only will they know what other homes are listed at in your neighborhood, but they can find out what the selling price was on homes that have recently sold.

An agent can also tell you inexpensive ways to improve your home to increase your asking price. This is essential if you have an older home that is outdated.

Before you set your price, discuss your options with an experienced agent. They can show you how to negotiate once you get an offer. The asking price is often not the selling price, and you want to make sure you get the price you need. A real estate agent can be a valuable resource when you are selling your home, and can make the entire process go smoothly and quickly.

Meeting With Your Agent

When using a REALTOR®, it is imperative that they have a thorough knowledge of the market in your area. He or she will need to present recent home sale statistics for your area so that they can get come up with a price that is reflective of the current real estate market.

When meeting with your agent to discuss the sale of your home, you will need to keep in mind that the pricing of your home is one of the most important factors in regards to the sale of the home. No matter how wonderful your neighborhood, school system, amenities, etc., if the home is priced too high, you could potentially be pricing yourself out of a sale.

When the agent arrives for your meeting, the first thing you need to see is a proposal that the agent has prepared specifically for you. This proposal should include recent homes sale, length of time those homes were on the market, current homes on the market in your area that could possibly be used by an appraiser as comparable to your home.

Most importantly, the agent should then give you their opinion of a price to list the home. If you do not agree with the price and feel that it is too high or too low, let the agent know. It is your home and the decision is ultimately up to you.


Taking the “You” Out of the Home

There is a lot to consider when you are getting your home ready to sell. One of the most basic considerations must be to decide on the best way to display what the house you are selling has to offer to potential buyers, not what your home has meant to you for the time you’ve lived there. And that means before you place your property on the real estate market, you need to make it less personal and more saleable.

For instance, if you are a collector of angel figurines and you have them displayed on most wooden surfaces and in cabinets—whether built-ins or your own furniture—you need to pack those pieces away and give the property a more “clean” or less cluttered appearance. The same can be said for your husband’s record collection or race car collectibles.

Family pictures are okay, just not maybe the large quantity you are used to displaying around the home. One family portrait sitting on the mantle or on your foyer table is acceptable. Having pictures of all your children and pets in a line up the wall alongside the staircase to the upper level will take away from the potential buyer’s ability to see their own personal touches on those walls.

Make sure the house is thoroughly clean before you allow the property to be shown, be sure and keep any personal items displayed to the absolute minimum-avoiding clutter is the key, and you will have a greater chance of receiving offers for your property.

Interior Improvements & Fixes

If you’re looking to sell your home, there may be a few things you need to do before you put it on the market. Whether you have a leaky roof or an electrical problem, some things need to be fixed or they will be found by an inspector.

So, how can you prepare to sell your home?

Act as if it’s not yours: The first thing you want to do is act like this house you own isn’t yours. Now, walk through every part of your home like a buyer would and look for problems. Just make sure you’re honest with yourself about what needs to be fixed.

Water problems: Make sure there are no water problems such as flooding in the basement, water damage in the ceilings and other issues. These issues can really devalue your home.

Electric: Make sure all the electric is working in your home. From all the outlets to the light switches and appliances, make sure everything can be turned on.

Exterior: Take a look at the exterior of your home and search for problems. Is the roof sinking in and leaking? Are the concrete blocks in the ground cracking and letting in critters and water? Make sure the exterior is just as good as the interior.

Get rid of clutter: Before you have people come to look at your home, make sure you get rid of all the clutter in your home. When a home is cluttered, it looks much smaller than it is.

As you can see, there are some things you will need to do in order to prepare to sell your home. Consider these ideas above and have a better chance at selling your home.

Exterior Improvements & Fixes

Making important repairs and fixes to the exterior of your home gives buyers a positive first impression and draws them inside to explore the interior.

First impressions have a big impact on a potential buyer’s decision. Therefore, it is important to make sure the entry way to your home is neat and tidy by fixing any sagging screens and painting the door and door frame. Also, fill in any major cracks in the walkway leading up to the house.

A roof that shows signs of neglect or disrepair is one of the biggest turnoffs to buyers. Be sure to replace missing shingles or roofing tiles. Clean off any moss or algae that might be growing on your roof. A roofing professional will be able to help you with this.

Take the time to landscape your yard. Re-seed or fertilize the lawn if necessary and keep it mowed. Prune your trees and bushes and remove any dead branches or leaves. To increase the visual appeal of your home, plant new flowers or shrubs. Finally, remove any “no trespassing”� or “beware of dog”� signs and place trash cans out of sight.

When it comes time sell your home, the first thing potential buyers see is the outside. Making repairs and improving the exterior of your home makes it more appealing and more likely to sell for top dollar.


Shooting for the Moon and Land: Nowhere

Putting a price on your home can be an emotional roller coaster. You want to get the highest price that you can for your home, but what will happen if you price your home too high for the current market?

When you list your home for sale, you are putting your property in competition with every other house on the market. Because you are competing with other sellers, if you price your house too high, it will likely just sit without being sold. If your property is not getting any offers at a higher list price, your broker is going to suggest that you bring the listing price down to current market prices where similar properties are actually selling. When a property sits on the market without selling, buyers start to wonder why it isn’t sold.

You need to find out what the recent sales are for homes in your area. You also need to consider the types of sales that are influencing current market prices. Is your home in the same area that has a high number of foreclosure, reo or short sales? Such sales (and foreclosures) can have a negative impact on home prices.

Before making your home pricing decision, make sure to get a current market analysis to see what is happening in your area.

When making an offer, try to be “aggressively realistic”. You certainly want to save money, but you also want to give the seller a reason to sell to you—after all, you want the house!


A One-Time Show Listing

A one-time show listing is an option available to the homeowner that allows the otherwise FSBO (For Sale By Owner) property to be shown by an agent. For this to happen, the seller/vendor must sign an agreement that names the prospective buyer and states the amount of commission to be payable to the named agent if the property is sold to said buyer. It effectively prevents the seller and buyer from reaching an agreement without the agent’s participation at a later stage and without paying the agent’s commission.

While this arrangement may mean that your property is shown to prospective buyers that it would otherwise not be exposed to, agents will tend not to invest their time and money into marketing your property or include it in an MLS (Multiple Listing System) that is commonly used by buyers as a database to search from.

Property owners looking to sell their homes in this way should be cautious when approached by agents who claim to have a buyer lined up who is looking for a property similar to theirs. In this case, no listing agreement should be signed as the listing is not necessary. Additionally, you should be able to negotiate a cut in the agent’s commission as a portion of that which is usually attributed to marketing the property. Thus, the seller should insist on signing only a one-time-showing commission agreement to avoid paying more than he or she needs to.

Exclusive Agency Listing

When you are selling your home you want to have the best company representing you and get results quickly. Listing with a real estate agency means they will work on your behalf to sell your home for the best possible price and will bring buyers and investors alike. This means you can be assured that your home will be sold at a price that is attractive to you and the prospective buyer.

Listing your home with a real estate agency also means they will market your home to areas outside the city and into other states for buyers looking to move to the area. This is an advantage for both buyers and sellers everywhere.

If you are in the market for a new home and are new to the area, consulting a real estate agency will be your best bet. They can show you properties that are in your price range as well as what the area offers for a family with children or for those who are retired. This means you are buying a home in an area that is accommodating to you and your family.

Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing

If you are looking to sell your home in a hurry, consider using an exclusive right-to-sell listing (this is the most popular listing used today). If you go with a exclusive right-to-sell listing, only the broker can sell your home. With this type of agreement, the broker will have an incentive to sell your home quickly—no matter who finds a buyer, the broker will still earn commission.

Today, many real estate brokers will only use an exclusive right-to-sell listing. The broker will have many responsibilities, including: a) he/she will need to market your home to other brokers (other brokers will be responsible for showing your home to potential buyers) b) your broker will need to hold open houses and advertise your home, which is done through several listing services.

The brokers’ commission is usually a percentage of the home’s selling price, and can be as high as five-percent—but often pays off. When considering the various ways to list your home, remember these benefits of a right-to-sell listing.

The “For Sale” Sign and Fliers

In today’s competitive sales market for real estate it’s important to make the best first impression. Signs and fliers carry your message and they should move the potential buyer to action. First, have the property looking at its best: clean and in good repair, a nice paint job, repair any noticeable problems such as missing fence pieces, dead plants or shrubs, browned grass spots etc. Wash windows, clean and polish metals, and replace burned-out lights too. Be sure to make the house look well-cared for by its owners. The interior should be clean and neat as well. Next take some pictures. Use a wide-angle lens to avoid any distorted angles; be very selective, these photos convey the message of your home. Use a font that reads easily, (arial and verdana are easiest for most viewers and reproduce well). Use complimentary, contrasting cheerful colors and keep it simple.

The job of the sign and fliers is to draw potential buyers to the home for sale. The flier has to get the message over to them in quick and clear terms and move them to see the place for themselves. When they get there, make sure the are not disappointed. Constantly checking for anything that could detract from the value of the property is a duty to be done daily. Protect your investment with the best for sale signs and fliers.


Why Advertise? Won’t my house sell?

If you’re looking to sell your home, it can be done with the help of things such as a realtor, signs in front of your home, through the newspaper, online and many other ways. Regardless of how you sell your home, there are a few benefits that advertising can provide in the process.

Increase the awareness for buyers: It’s important for all buyers to know that your home is an option for them. By advertising your home while it’s for sale, you are increasing the awareness and making it clear it’s for sale.

Maximize your exposure: When you consider marketing your home through things such as the newspaper, online or through a realtor, you’re increasing your chances of having someone see it. The more ways you advertise it, the more exposure you’re creating.

Increase your chances of selling: If you don’t market your home, there’s a good chance no one will know it’s for sale unless they drive by and see a for sale sign. By effectively advertising your home, you can reduce the time needed for it to sell and move on faster.

As you can see, there are some great benefits to advertising your home when it’s for sale. Though your home may sell without it, you can greatly improve your chances of selling it quickly and easily—just advertise!

What about Open Houses?

If you’d like to sell your home, there are several different strategies you can consider. Whether you want to sell privately, with a realtor, put your listing in the newspaper or even consider having an open house, there are many different strategies you can use to get your home off your hands.

If you’re thinking about having an open house while selling your home, here are some great benefits to consider:

When you have an open house, you may increase your odds of selling a home. When your home is open to the public to view, you can get several different viewers coming from all areas and from many different real estate agents. Another benefit to having an open house is the fact that you’re allowing people to come in a way that benefits their schedule.

While there are benefits of having an open house, you should be aware that some visitors are not serious buyers and may not have an real interest in buying the house (e.g. interior designers looking for ideas). Try your best to decipher who is serious and who is just casual—without seeming nosy or rude. Another problem with having an open house is when people make a mess in your home. Whether they come in with their muddy shoes or they spill something when viewing, it can leave you with a mess to clean up when they leave.

Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. Be sure to consider the thoughts above to help you make your decision.