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Home Selling Tips PDF Print E-mail

There are many things that are important when you sell your house and the list here is definitely not an exhaustive one. The following brief is to give you the basic guidelines to get the best deal from the sale of your house. 

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  1. Choose the right real estate agent: While it is okay if you want to sell your house directly - and you are confident you can pull it through - it is usually better if you have a good professional real estate agent to do this job for you. To know whether the agent is a good one you watch out for:
    1. The agent should have good references with a good turn over of recent listings; ask for names of recent client.
    2. Before deciding make discreet enquiries about the agent in your neighborhood, amongst your friends and relative.
    3. The agent should be easy to talk to. If you do not find yourself comfortable talking or asking questions, then definitely this is not the right agent for you.
    4. Choose an agent who can show you the minus points as well - one who speaks frankly - or you will never know why your house is not getting sold.
  2. Price your house well: Research the market before fixing a price for your house. Beware of the fact that most house-owners think their house is worth more than the market value. Be realistic and fix a price that the house really deserves plus a give and take of 10-15% for negotiations.
  3. Ensure that the house makes a good impression at first sight (and later as well):
    1. You will need to first of all have the house painted and cleaned thoroughly. The windows will need to be washed, shined; the walls cleaned (repainted preferably); courtyards should be free from any clutter and garbage or any waste; lawns should be mowed and garden maintained (even if that means to keep a part-time gardener); check that both the interiors and exterior are clean and give an open appearance; pay particular attention to toilets and kitchen cleanlines.
      1. If you are still living in the house when you have put your house for sale, remove all the clutter and keep the rooms furnished to a bare minimum. Remove clutter from staircases, closets and all those nook and corners in the house. Have the house aired, vacuumed and dust-free. The feeling and look of space always creates a good impression.
      2. Maintenance & repairs: Check that the plumbing is in order and there are no leaking taps and/or pipes; check that the wiring is okay in the house, the house should be well illuminated both inside and outside for a bright and welcoming look; oil doors which creak, repair stairs that creek, and replace/repair any window that are not closing, or bangs when the wind blows; check and replace loose door/ window knobs.
      3. Ensure the front door has a welcoming appearance: The front of the house should be welcoming enough for the prospective buyer to feel good about entering into it; have a good door installed if your door is dull and ensure that it is impressive; have the foyer well illuminated and tastefully decorated. Ensure that the doorbell is functional.
      4. Pay sufficient attention to the back of the house: Many commit the mistake of dressing up the front and leaving out the back. Most buyers are just as particular with the back as they are the front. Ensure that the back yard, garage, and surrounding are clean, well maintained and de-cluttered. In fact the back yard, just as the toilets of a house, will tell the prospective buyer the real level of maintenance of the house.
  4. Lastly, be patient. You will definitely get the price you deserve for the house, and some times this takes longer. Stick to your guns, if you realistically priced your house, you will definitely get the price you quoted.
How To Sell Your Own House

First and foremost, you need to educate yourself on how real estate transactions happen. There are guides and plenty of books on the subject online. When you decided to sell your own house, you are considered a FSBO seller [for sale by owner]. This FSBO market is growing like mad, which means you can find form contracts and agreements ready made for your particular state.

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  1. Determine the price of comparable homes in your neighborhood. This is going to give you a very good idea of what you can ask for your house when you put it on the market.
  2. Objectively look at your home and make a list of things that need to be fixed. Selling a house often comes down to the details. Buyers are making a big investment, so they are going to be very picky about little things.
  3. List your house online with photographs at a site like guidetostlucia.com
  4. Post flyers or ads in your local property listings magazines.
  5. Put a sign on your lawn indicating you are selling.
  6. On the sign post, put a box with flyers describing your home and the asking price.
  7. Hold open houses for buyers to view your house.
  8. Clean your house before all open houses - see home selling tips above. Add fragrant flowers to rooms, mow the lawn and so on.
  9. Get rid of your junk through a garage sale and the trash. This includes cleaning out the garage. Everything should be pristine.
  10. Create a documented record of all the improvements you’ve made to the home to show potential buyers.
  11. Become conversant in the offer, counteroffer process.
  12. Develop a clear understanding of what happens during closing and make sure you’ll be able to take care of your part.
  13. Figure out what you plan to do when you sell the house, to wit, are you going to buy another house and when will you move?

While these guidelines will take you a long way, it is important you understand the specific laws of land. Once you have those down, the process typically goes fairly smoothly. Considering you’ll save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commissions, any bumps in the road will be more than worth it.

Selecting a Real Estate Agent

The equity in your home is not to be overlooked since in most cases it is your biggest personal asset. So you should not trust your most important asset to just any real estate agent. You should seek the very best real estate agent in your area.

Finding a top real estate agent will make your transactions flow more smoothly, and potentially make considerably more money. The following pointers will help you single out an exceptional real estate agent and may prove to be indispensable steps for a homeowner.

  1. Collect names and contact numbers.
  2. Interview Agents
    Schedule appointments with at least three or more real estate agents, and be prepared. A prepared list of questions is good advice. Ask questions on the agents marketing techniques, follow-up methods and number of active listings, sales records and the option for cancellation of your listing.
  3. The working relationship with your agent is key to a successful transaction. After interviewing your perspective agents ask yourself, who seems to be the most sincere, and who do you think will respect your decisions best? Often your "gut feel" will be your most accurate. Consults other experts such as mortgage bankers, and escrow company personnel. Make sure that you prioritize your needs when contemplating which agent to choose.
  4. Take your time! It takes time, lots of thinking and work to make the right selection. If you find the "perfect" real estate agent, consider yourself fortunate. Now is the time when the real work begins.
But no matter how much work is involved, the whole process will work much more efficiently if you have selected the right agent. Selling your home without the assistance of a qualified realtor is difficult and ultimately cost you more money than you save.
 
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