Tips for Selling your Home Quickly and
for Top Dollar
Understand Why You are Selling Your Home
Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you're willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.
Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself
The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don't provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you to know.
Before Setting a Price - Do Your Homework
When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents. If you are pricing too low it can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.
Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you'll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.
Appearances Do Matter - Make them Count!
Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and "feel" of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.
Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn't work and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you'll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you're not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel, when viewing your home, is that they may be intruding into someone's life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.
Invariably, the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he'll pay for your property. Don't be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.
Buying and Selling Goals
My goal is to help my clients get top dollar for their home, of course, but what I really want to do is help them achieve their goals, and that is not always just about price. Many times, buyers or sellers draw a line in the sand and egos get in the way. Meanwhile, the big picture and the goals that they all started with are lost over a small difference in price that the client would gladly pay to be with their Grandchildren, or get their kids into a terrific school. Let go of the emotion you've invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.
The better you know your buyers the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process.
As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly. Armed with this information you are in a better position to bargain.
You can counter a low offer or even an offer that's just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer isn't seen as being a serious one. Now you'll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.
Earnest Money & Inspection
Once a price has been agreed upon by the seller and buyer, there are steps that need to be taken and deadlines to be met. The buyer will be required to give earnest money to you, the selling side, to show they are committed to the deal. This is usually $1000 up to several thousand, depending on the price, but it can be negotiated with the seller if you have specific requests. They will be given 5 days, according to the contract, to have a licensed and certified inspector do an official inspection of the property. If they find anything that I may have missed in the showing, they will be able to negotiate that with you, the seller, or back out of the deal and receive their earnest money back.
Real Estate Attorney
You will also need to hire a real estate attorney to help manage the transaction and put changes in the correct legal language. They are an important part of the team and this cannot be understated, particularly when dealing with short sales and foreclosures. Your attorney will have 5 days as well to review and approve the contract. If they find anything they don’t like, or you have sufficient reason, they can cancel the contract and you will still get your earnest money refunded.
Once these steps are taken, the buyers will then be working on getting a mortgage in place and there will be a contingency in the contract that says if they can’t get a mortgage approved by the lender, they will be able to get out of the contract and have their earnest money refunded, as long as they have abided by the terms of the contract.
Once the mortgage has been approved and we have a commitment by the bank, the closing is scheduled. All of these steps will be managed by me as I help guide you through the process. You will be aware of what needs to be done and when. If you have questions at any time, about any subject, I will be there to help you stay calm and focused. You will never be alone when you have a good Realtor by your side.
Why are You Selling?
Keep it to Yourself
Setting the Price
Showing Your Home
Buying & Selling Goals
Real Estate Attorney
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