Picking the right Realtor is key to selling your home. You want an agent that is experienced, knowledgeable, and actively engaged in the business. Talk to more than one Realtor and don’t hesitate to ask about their qualifications, track record, work habits, and current production. Check out their current listings to see how they market their properties. You deserve a full time agent that knows the business and has the marketing and negotiation skills to get you top dollar.
Some individuals consider selling their homes without a Realtor. These sales are typically called “for sale by owner” or FSBO and may sound appealing at first. The only advantage is the potential to save some commission expense, but buyers of FSBO homes are a small percentage of the market and will expect that commission savings to be discounted off the price so it is rare to enjoy any real savings. Most FSBO attempts fail, in part due to inaccurate pricing. Arriving at an informed asking price is one of the first key responsibilities of a Realtor. The research and interpretation of the sales data is critical. The seller will also be required to take on the time and all the expense of selling the home that the Realtor would normally handle. A seller must also be able to handle the complex paperwork, pitfalls [and liabilities] of escrow and closing. It’s important to understand that any error can be extremely expensive, so it’s definitely in a seller’s best interest to choose a real estate professional that is highly trained to market and sell his or her property.
The majority of homes are sold by using a professional Realtor. This person can provide you with a wide range of services, including help with preparing the property for sale, recommend an asking price, advertise the home to prospective buyers, arrange meetings and negotiate with prospective buyers, follow up on home inspections and other matters once a sales contract is signed, and arrange for the closing of the transaction. A Realtor also may help by referring the home seller to other service providers such as mortgage lenders, title companies, home inspectors, and real estate attorneys, which could make the difference between success and failure in closing a sale. The ultimate decision is up to you as to which service providers to work with.
Preparing a home for sale is a seller’s first major step toward a successful sale. Making minor repairs will definitely be worth the effort. Fix leaky faucets, patch holes in walls, replace cracked counter or floor tiles, replace broken light fixtures, and consider painting with neutral colors. No seller wants their home to be remembered as the “one with the bright pink kitchen.”
Potential buyers will react and feel more positive about a home’s overall condition if the seller has made sure that the home is sparkling clean and orderly. Clean carpets, floors, windows, spotless bathrooms, dust free furniture and fixtures are key to the buyer’s attitude about the home. Eliminate any odors that you can. If you need to replace the towels and/or bedspread now is a great time to do so. The exterior of the home should be sprayed clean along with the sidewalks and driveways. A freshly painted front door along with a new welcome mat makes a positive first impression on someone who is entering your home.
Walk outside your home’s front door and step back from the entrance. Observe your home from a buyer’s perspective. Does your home’s appearance seem warm and inviting? Walk back through the door and look at the how furniture is arranged, check to see if window coverings are hanging straight and level and think about what a first impression might be for a potential buyer. Will that person be excited to tour your home based on what he or she has seen so far? Rearranging some furniture or getting rid of clutter may be just what is needed for your home to become more appealing. “Staging” a home can also be arranged if the home is empty or needs a different look. Home staging is all about developing illusions. It’s more than decorating and cleaning. It’s using a professional’s creative ability to set a mood or theme in one or more of a home’s rooms. Staging makes your house appear larger, warmer, brighter, and more exciting. Most buyers tend to buy based on their emotions. If a home is beautifully staged it can make a buyer truly fall in love with it. A Realtor can help you decide if staging is the best approach for your home.
Finally, in order for a buyer to even consider looking at the inside of your home, they must first be impressed by the exterior’s condition or what’s commonly known as “curb appeal.” Make sure that the lawn is neatly mowed and trim away unsightly branches or bushes, plant or use potted flowers for added beauty. It’s important to make certain that your house number is clearly visible and easy to read. If possible always remove any trash bins from in front of the home and place them out of view. One more suggestion is that if you have pets in your home, it’s advisable and most considerate to keep them confined while someone is touring the property.