How to Sell the Place You’ve Called Home

Selling your home is one of the most important steps in your life. These 10 steps will give you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process:

1. Maximize your home's sales potential
The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. You can do a lot to improve your home’s appearance. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, un-clutter, scrub, scour dust and vacuum. Fix and clean everything that you can, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a "wow" response from prospective buyers.

2. Drive-Up Appeal
When preparing your home, work from the outside in. It’s essential that your home possess a certain “drive-up appeal.” Remember, a potential Buyer begins to form an impression of your home before they even get out of their car. So you first need to view your home from this perspective. Go stand across the street and look at your property, compare it to surrounding properties. Look at your gardens and landscaping, roof, gutters and overall exterior cleanliness and condition.

3. Do your homework before setting a price.
Settling on an asking price shouldn't be done lightly. Remember that the average buyer has usually looked at several homes at the same time they are considering yours. This means that they have a good basis of comparison, and if your home doesn't compare favorably with others in the price range you're in, you won't be taken seriously. As a result, your home can sit on the market for an extended period and, knowing this, new buyers entering the market will what’s wrong with your home.

4. Disclose All Known Defects
A Seller has a legal responsibility to disclose defects and certain items in need of maintenance or repair. Make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing prior to entering into negotiations. Better yet, repair or replace items in need of maintenance before even putting the home on the market.

5. Avoid moving out before you sell
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant. They tend to look forlorn, forgotten and just simply not as appealing as a home furnished and lived in, in most cases. It also tells Buyers that you are probably motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage in the negotiations.

6. Find a Good Real Estate Agent to Represent You
A good Agent will listen to the goals and objectives you’re trying to achieve and then structure the marketing and closing plan to accommodate those: will assist you in determining the right asking price, market your home ensuring everyone looking for a home like yours has the opportunity to view it and make offers, assist you through the negotiations protecting your rights and equity while explaining all of your options, and essentially guide you through the entire sales process ensuring a successful closing.

7. Make it Easy for Buyers to Schedule/View your Home
Try and accommodate all reasonable showing requests. These days, everyone leads busy lives. Partners are working opposite shifts, and have different days off. Some even have to take time off work just so they can look at a home that meets their needs.

8. Be Absent During Showings
The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in the home. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements and showing them every closet, instead of allowing them to envision where they are going to place their furniture, you make it very difficult for them to imagine living there.

9. Know why you're selling, and keep it to yourself
The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What's more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market? Different goals will dictate different strategies. However, don't reveal your motivation to anyone other than your Agent or they may use it against you during the negotiations. When asked, simply say that your lifestyle and housing needs have changed.

10. Know Your Buyer
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace. So it’s important to know a little about your Buyer. What is their motivation? Why do they want your house instead of the others they have looked at? Do they need to move quickly? Do they qualify for the money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiations because you know how far you can push to get what you want.

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