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Hire a REALTOR®
Studies show that homesellers who use a REALTOR® to represent them generally get a better price than those who sell the home themselves. REALTORS® are up-to-date on critical processes and can help keep you out of trouble. They can also help you get your home sold at the best price in the right time frame. Equally as important, REALTORS® add objectivity to an inherently emotional transaction: the sale of your home.
Before Your Home Is Listed
Here are some steps to take to ensure your home is in good showing condition before buyers start going through it:
- Touch up interior and exterior paint as needed.
- Install new carpeting and flooring if it appears worn or dated.
- Make sure the front is clean and spruced up – curb appeal will create a favorable first impression.
- Trim bushes and plants as needed, and make sure the lawn is kept mowed and trimmed. In autumn, rake the leaves; in winter, keep the snow shoveled.
- Keep the interior clean, decluttered and odor-free. Eliminate evidence of pets.
- Minimize personal items such as family photos. You want buyers to see themselves living in the home.
- Consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage. Now's the time to clean out the garage and basement and sell, give away or throw away items you don't need anymore.
- Consider having a pre-listing inspection performed. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors; here's your chance to address problems in advance.
- Consider engaging a professional stager to give your home the right emotional appeal.
During the Listing Period
- When potential buyers visit your home, either be absent or make yourselves as inconspicuous as possible.
- Have fresh flowers in the entryway. It makes for a friendly introduction into your home.
- If offers are made that don't match your hoped-for price, don't reject them out of hand. Pay attention to your agent's advice.
- Consider dropping the price if several months go by with few or no offers. But if you and your agent have priced your home properly from the start, this shouldn't be necessary
- Don't get discouraged. In buyer's markets, homes take longer to sell than during boom times. Your home will eventually sell; it's a matter of your RE/MAX agent finding the right buyer for you.
Help Your Agent
You have the best chance of selling your home if you work closely with your agent. Once you've found the right real estate agent to represent you, hold up your end of the relationship. Make sure all showings are coordinated through him or her. If you have a brochure box, be sure to keep it filled. If prospective buyers want to discuss your property or negotiate price or other terms, defer to your agent. He or she is the expert and can best handle all these details without emotion.
How to work with your real estate agent
- If you are selling, create an information sheet that lists your home's features and best qualities, especially those that others might overlook. Your agent may be able to use the information when marketing your home.
- When selling, talk to the real estate agent about cosmetic improvements. Your home may need fresh paint or new carpet.
- If selling, keep it clean. Eliminate cobwebs and dust. Keep the bathroom counters and mirrors wiped down. Vacuum and sweep daily.
- If buying, be clear about what you want. Make a list of your priorities numbered 1 through 10. You can always revise the list, but give your agent something concrete so that he or she can research available listings more efficiently.
Food for thought
- Hiring a REALTOR® will give you a strong advantage. Although many practitioners work part-time, RE/MAX Associates are full-time professionals who provide their complete attention and expertise.
- Your real estate agent is an authority you hire to help you make the right decisions, but you have the final word.
- Your residence is likely to be the biggest single investment you'll ever make. Buy and sell wisely.
- Remember that home values fluctuate with the economy