Studies show that home sellers who use a real estate agent to represent them generally get a better price than those who sell the home themselves. Agents 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, agents add objectivity to an inherently emotional transaction: the sale of your home.
Before Your Home Is Listed
It’s important to have your home in good showing condition before buyers start going through it. Here are some steps to take:
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 yourself 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 offhand. 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.