Selling Your Home? 7 Things to Know Right Off the Bat

Are you getting ready to put your home on the market? If so, you probably want the sale to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Well then, get ready to put in some effort—and probably spend a bit of money. To help move the process along, keep the following considerations in mind as you prepare your home for sale. And don’t forget, the expertise of an experienced real estate agent can be invaluable.

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  1. Never Over-Value Your Home


    As important as it is not to set too low a sales price, you also want to avoid setting the price too high. This mistake is all too easy to make and may be the kiss of death for some home sales. Here’s why: If the asking price is too steep, your house may languish on the market. A house that has sat on the market too long is a signal to prospective buyers that something is amiss, and they may steer clear of the listing. Likewise, dropping the price after you put your house on the market can come across as a desperate move, one that may give the buyer the upper hand.

    Related: 12 Reasons Your Home Isn't Worth as Much as You Think

  2. Realtor Fees Are Negotiable


    There's nothing like hiring a real estate agent to relieve some of the burden of selling your home. You may think that you can’t afford the cost of hiring a professional, but you might be surprised. If you find a real estate agent you’d like to work with, ask if there’s any wiggle room in the fee. If it means the difference between securing your business or not, the agent may be willing to be flexible. It never hurts to ask!

    Related: 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Realtor

  3. A Well-Written Listing Can Make the Sale


    When you hire a real estate agent, you’re engaging an expert who knows all the right buzzwords to use to pique buyers’ interest, and which words to avoid. For example, a “charming” living room may just come across as super small, and a “cozy” home is often code for a fixer-upper. While honesty is the best policy when selling a home, there's no reason why you shouldn't jazz up a listing a bit in order to get potential buyers in the door.

    Related: 12 Secrets Every Savvy Home Seller Needs to Know

  4. Timing Is Everything


    Certain times of the year are great for listing a house (Psst! Presidents’ Day weekend) and others are a total wash (Christmas and New Year’s, for instance). If you’re lucky enough to have some flexibility in when your house goes on the market, keep this information in mind. It may speed up the sale.

    Related: 8 Things New Homeowners Waste Money On

  5. Staging Is Key


    You probably already know that it’s essential to have furniture in the home when you’re trying to make a sale, but you may want to go a step further by adding seasonal and listing-appropriate extras. It’s a good idea, however, to consult your real estate agent first to make sure you’re not overdoing it on scented candles, seasonal decorations, or accessories. While you can certainly stage the house on your own, if you have the means to invest a bit more in the sale, consider calling in a professional stager to apply the finishing touches.

    Related: 11 Home Staging Tricks That Don't Cost a Penny

  6. Pricing Brackets Matter


    When buyers develop a budget for a home purchase, they'll often set a price range rather than a fixed dollar amount. For instance, a buyer who says he's willing to spend $310,000 on a 3-bedroom home may be prepared to spend anywhere from $300,000 to $325,000. It takes some finesse to work the bracket to your best advantage so you can get the most for your home without pricing out potential buyers. That's where having a savvy real estate agent in your court can make a big difference.

    Related: 9 Ways to Get the Best Price on Your Dream Home

  7. A Well-Manicured Lawn Is A Must


    The lawn is the first thing potential buyers see when they’re driving up to your house, so it's important that the yard make a stellar first impression. To wow even the most observant visitors, mow the lawn right before an open house or walk-through, even if you just mowed it a couple of days before. Not only will a quick mowing session boost curb appeal, but it will release the irresistible scent of freshly cut grass—a smell that could help buyers develop positive associations with your house.

    Related: The Best (and Worst) Things You Can Do Before an Open House

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Buying & Selling Homes


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