Selling Your Home?
It’s easy to sell in a HOT market but how do you GET YOUR PRICE in a
sluggish or crowded (normal) market?
We’ve all heard the stories of people selling their home the first day it comes on the market and getting more than they asked for at incredible terms. This might happen in just the right market at just the right time but most of us live in the real world. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your price and your terms, it just means you have to be smart
about selling your home.
1. Spruce up your home and property – You can’t sell to someone who isn’t there! In
order to get prospective buyers in the door you can increase your “curbside appeal” with
a little window dressing and by making those repairs you have been putting off –
• -fix or replace damaged flooring
• -fix drains, faucets or plumbing fixtures including toilets
• -paint, paint, paint inside & out – this is perhaps your most effective “quick fix”
• -replace burned out bulbs and broken electrical sockets
• -fix all the doors, exterior, interior, closet & garage
• -replace old locks and loose doorknobs
• -spruce up your steps and exterior entrances, you have to get the buyers in the
• -replace cracked windows and torn screens, a fresh set of eyes will notice those
• -fix cracks in driveway and walkway, if major repairs are required you may prefer
to offer the buyer an allowance for the work.
• -don’t forget to fix or replace gutters & downspouts
• -is your deck a deathtrap? Replace those rotten boards and railings.
• -look up, look way up! Don’t forget the roof, make minor repairs or be ready to
allow for major repairs in your sales deal.
• -plant flowers (in season), put potted plants on your deck and buy indoor plants
• -tried & true, bake bread or cinnamon buns to remind your buyer of home and
• -clean up your garage and your basement
2. Clean your room! – Or in this case ALL your rooms. Your mother was right on with
this advice. You wouldn’t believe the number of sales that have been lost due to dirty
kitchens and bathrooms, clutter, stains and strange odors. There’s no excuse for showing
a dirty home. Pretend your mother-in-law is coming to visit and give yourself the “white
glove” test, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!
3. Make your home accessible! – The more accessible your home is the more it will be
shown and that gives you better odds of finding a buyer willing to pay top dollar. A lock
box is favored because it offers realtors unlimited access (within reason) to show your
home. Appointment only arrangements are more restrictive, in today’s competitive
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market buyers who can’t see a home at their convenience will go on to view, and
purchase, other homes.
4. Ask your realtor for tips on how to show your home. – Knowing exactly what to
say and do when you show your home is crucial. There are “do’s” that may help clinch a
deal and “don’ts” that might sink it. Little details can make a big difference – ask!
5. Remember – this is business. – This is a $ and ¢ transaction. Don’t allow your
emotional ties to your home cloud your judgment. You may be selling the home that little
Jimmy and Janet grew up in but the buyer is just buying a house that they want to make
into their home. You’ll have your memories, your pictures and your money to take with
you to your new home.
6. Pay for a home inspection – Once you’ve got them in the door, what can you offer a
purchaser that makes your home more appealing than the one next door? – How about a
home inspection? You know they’ll want one if they’re serious so why not beat them to
the punch by offering them a comprehensive home inspection report possibly combined
with a home warranty that reassures prospective buyers that the property is in good
condition and that certain repairs will be covered by insurance. You’ll get brownie points
if you make copies of these documents for buyers to take away.
7. Bonus – As well as functioning as a great sales tool, your home inspection can ward
off ugly surprises from the buyers inspector. You need to know about major problems
now, so you can fix them or price accordingly. Not all surprises are fun!
8. You like red walls, they prefer cream – If a prospective buyer likes everything but
your taste in décor consider offering them a decorating allowance to cover the cost of
paint, wallpaper or new carpet.
9. You’ve found a buyer but they aren’t in a position to make the purchase at this
time – Consider a lease option, this allows a buyer to rent the property for a period of
time with an option to buy. A percentage of the rent is set aside as the buyer’s down
payment while you use the remainder to cover your mortgage. To motivate your
purchaser you can offer to put at least 30 percent of the rent toward a down payment.
10. Offer to finance the sale yourself – If you have lots of equity in the home you might
want to consider “seller financing”. Options include buying down the mortgage rate,
putting funds in escrow to cover several months of mortgage payments, and carrying
back a second mortgage to help a buyer cover a down payment. Before you offer
financial assistance to a buyer, consult your agent and a real estate attorney, and make
sure the buyer is creditworthy.