1. Time is money when selling your home
After you've made the decision to sell your home, the longer it remains unsold on the market, the more it costs you. Many home sellers feel it's very important to receive close to their full asking price. But they overlook the additional months of carrying costs, such as mortgage interest, property taxes and maintenance. I've seen homes remain unsold on the market for years! Obviously, those home sellers are not highly motivated to sell. If they've already moved to their new home, maintaining a vacant, overpriced house can be very expensive, usually costing $1,000 or more each month the home remains unsold.
2. Get your home into near-model home condition
Most home buyers today want to purchase a home which is in basically good condition and does not need major fix-up work. This is called a "red ribbon deal" home because it's like a gift wrapped with red ribbon.
There are few buyers for fixer-upper houses--and they want bargain prices to compensate for the necessary work. The goal of home sellers who want to sell fast for top dollar must be to get the home into near-model home condition. However, spending major money is not required. Most homes just need basic, inexpensive work to get the residence into very good condition where all the buyer must do is turn the key in the door and move in.
3. The reason most homes don't sell--they are overpriced!
Many home sellers want to set their asking prices above what their realty agent recommends. These sellers often hope an out-of-town buyer will overpay for their home. That rarely happens! There are several reasons, such as buyer's agents who look out for their buyers, competitive listings which are realistically priced close to market value, and lender's appraisals which reflect market value. Buyers quickly become experts on home values after they've inspected a dozen or more similar homes in the vicinity. They rarely overpay. Most homes have a "range of values." Many factors influence this range of values--such as local economic conditions, the home's location, supply of similar homes in the same price range listed for sale, number of buyers currently in the marketplace, the physical condition of the home, the skill of your realty agent to properly market the home to as many prospective buyers as possible, the financing available, quality of the local school district (the best schools create home buyer demand), and the desirability of your home compared to other nearby homes now available for sale.
4. Be flexible--don't get greedy
If you're just testing the market and will sell your home only if you get your inflated asking price, then you're not a serious motivated seller. However, if you are motivated to sell, the best attitude is to be flexible, don't get greedy and don't insist on receiving the last dollar of profit. Instead, consider all purchase offers which are presented. No matter how low and insulting the purchase offer might be, make a counteroffer! After several days or even weeks of counteroffer negotiation back and forth, home sales often result. But sellers who are inflexible and don't make counteroffers have only themselves to blame when their home doesn't sell because they are inflexible and greedy.
5. Get out of the house!
Finally, if you listed your home for sale with a professional realty agent, let that person (or a buyer's agent) do their job. Whenever you know an agent is bringing a prospective buyer to inspect your home, even on short notice, get out of the house! There's a very good reason you don't want to meet the prospective buyer.
Experienced realty agents will tell you that until a buyer criticizes a residence, he or she is not a serious buyer. If the seller is hovering nearby, the prospect usually will not criticize your home. Instead, he or she will look at it and leave without making a commitment to that possible future residence. Also, the buyer's agent won't comment about the pros and cons of the house if the seller is within hearing range. Even if you just walk around the block 10 times while a buyer inspects your home, get out! Also, get your pets out--there is nothing worse than an offensive pet (or pet smell) to chill prospective home buyers from quickly buying your home for top dollar.
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