Tip # 1: Make your house presentable
You don't want to lose the interest of potential buyers because of an unkempt or cluttered house. To ensure your home makes a good first impression, keep the landscaping maintained and clear your driveway and entrance of everything but the essentials. Remove extraneous decorations and knick knacks from each room. A house that is overfilled will appear smaller and dirty. Enlist a friend to help you maintain your objectivity during this process. Before you place your home on the market, do a thorough cleaning and be diligent about maintaining it until it sells. Unsavory cooking odors, dirty laundry or a messy bathroom are an immediate turn-off to buyers.
Tip # 2: Complete repairs and refresh the paint and carpet
To make sure your home shows well, complete any necessary repairs and consider refreshing the paint, carpet and other cosmetic elements. A fresh coat of paint will make a tremendous difference in how your house appears to buyers. Stained carpet, dirty window treatments and chipped walls or other cosmetic imperfections tend to turn off buyers. You don't want your house to look like a fixer-upper unless you plan to negotiate on those terms.
Tip # 3: Be proactive in the marketing of your home
Don't be a passive participant. You will sell your home more successfully if you take an active roll. First, interview a number of agents and select the one that appears the most motivated and qualified. In addition to placing your listing on the MLS, your agent should employ a number of other marketing techniques, such as the Internet, local papers, flyers, signs, open houses and networking. The more exposure your house receives, the more potential buyers it will attract. Communicate your expectations to your agent and hold him/her accountable. The more specific you are up front, the less miscommunication you will experience later.
Tip # 4: Make your home as accessible as possible
You need to be as accommodating as possible to potential buyers. That includes giving your agent a key or having a lock box on your door. The longer it takes to arrange a showing, the more you risk a potential buyer losing interest even before they see your home. Some buyers, especially those that are relocating, have a tight schedule and may only have a short window in which they can schedule an appointment. Also, it is best to leave the house during a showing. This will alleviate any pressure or hurriedness the buyer may feel.
Tip # 5: Price your home right
Work with your real estate agent to determine your listing price. They should provide you with information about comparable properties that have sold recently and ones that are currently on the market. This data will be the most useful when setting a price. Every seller's goal is to make a large profit. However, this doesn't mean you should set a high price. How your house is priced in comparison to the market will directly affect the number of interested buyers you will have and offers you will receive. Potential buyers know their buying potential and are usually very knowledgeable about the market. A house with a market value price will attract many more potential buyers. The more interest there is in your property, the greater the chance you will receive an offer, or even multiple offers. Conversely, the longer your house lingers unsold, the fewer and fewer buyers it will continue to attract.
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