1) Keep why you are selling 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's more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market?
Different goals dictate different strategies. However, don't reveal your motivations to anyone, or they will certainly be used against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.
2) Do your homework before setting a price
Settling on an offering price shouldn't be done lightly. Once you've set your price, you've told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home, but pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low.
Remember that the average buyer is looking at 15-20 homes at the same time as they are considering yours. This means that they have a basis of comparison, and if your home doesn't compare favorably with the others in the price range you've set, you won't be taken seriously by prospects or agents. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time and, knowing this, new buyers on the market will think there must be something wrong with your home.
Do your homework. Find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past six months, and research what current homes list for. That's certainly how perspective buyers will assess the worth of your home.
3) Maximize your homes sale potential
Appearance is critical, and it is foolish to ignore this when selling your home. You may not be able to change your home's location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response then any other factor.
Clean like you've never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, unclutter, scrub, scour, and dust. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a "wow" response from buyers. Remember the outside is your homes first impression.
4) Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home
The decision to buy a home is based on emotions, not logic. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would try on a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out this improvement and that, or if your decor is so different that it's difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, or make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves owners.
5) Make it easy for Buyers to get information on your home
Buyers calling for information on your home probably are looking for information on your property. The last thing that they want to be subjected to is a game of telephone tag. Make sure your phone has a voice mail message that give the highlights of your property, also tell them to please leave a return phone number for further information or to request a private showing also be sure to direct them to your website to view the property.
6) Know your buyer
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. Does he or she need to move quickly? Does he or she have enough money to pay your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.
7) Make sure the contract is simple
For your part as a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, he can't come back with a lawsuit later on. Make sure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out it the contract of sale, and resist the temptation to diverge from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.
8) Don't move out before you sell or if your home is vacant....
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant- it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. Ways to help - leave a few fake plants around the home and on countertops, leave hand towels, soap and shower curtain in baths, leave a small table and chairs for potential buyers to sit and ALWAYS leave a brochure for them to take with them.
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