Excellence in Real Estate
Use a REALTOR(R).Some homeowners think that selling their own home will save money and give them an advantage over the Realtor-using majority. Before you start down this complicated path, here are a few reasons why using a real estate professional is important: 1) You will be drastically limiting your exposure to potential buyers, which means it can take between 10 and 15 times longer to sell your home. Houses that take a long time to sell usually sell for less because buyers believe there must be something wrong with them. 2) Most buyers find negotiating with sellers extremely awkward, and therefore avoid For Sale By Owner situations. 3) Most buyers use a Realtor in their home search, and most buyers' agents will typically not work with FSBOs because they will not be paid. This means you will have to offer a selling commission to attract buyer's agents, which will cut into your expected "savings." 4) Lack of negotiating experience can result in a lower selling price, or worse, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits. It is probably unwise to pit your negotiating skills against those of experienced professionals. 5) If you plan to use a lawyer to help you negotiate, your lawyer's fees could be considerably higher than a Realtor's commission. Unlike Realtors, lawyers do not get paid for proactively representing your best interests or mediating delicate situations. 6) You only pay a commission to your Realtor if they successfully sell your home at a price you are happy with.
Price your home realistically.Sales statistics show that properties that are initially priced too high eventually sell for less than properties that were correctly priced in the first place. Also, over-priced houses can take months or even years to sell, while properly priced houses usually sell in a matter of weeks or even days. When selecting your agent, make sure that each Realtor you interview presents a CMA (or Comparative Market Analysis) that shows what he or she thinks your house is worth. The average or median price will likely be very close to your home's true market value.
Show your home in the best light possible.While you don't have to keep your house 100% clean all the time, you should make any necessary repairs and perform all major cleanup work BEFORE you start showing your home. There are hundreds of small things you can do to make your house more attractive for a showing, ranging from drawing all the blinds and tightening loose doorknobs to displaying fresh-cut flowers and baking a loaf of bread. Most importantly, you should not be present during showings so that prospective buyers can explore your home freely. Ask your Realtor to provide a checklist of things you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers.