Seller's Guide

Preparing Your Home

First Impressions Are Crucial

Buyers begin judging your home the moment they see it and, unless they’re looking for a deal on a fixer-upper, they prefer homes that are well-maintained, clean and clutter-free. That’s why home improvements, particularly if they address the anticipated needs of buyers, can boost your home’s saleability and sale price. Depending on your home’s condition, there are three kinds of improvements that will impress buyers and help you sell for top market value: renovations, upgrades and repairs, reorganization and maintenance.

Small upgrades and repairs can make a big difference

There are few things that put buyers off more than viewing a home that screams of being uncared for. If you want to maximize your chances for getting top dollar, you might need to make some minor upgrades, but you’ll definitely need to make all necessary repairs – even those that are “out of sight, out of mind”.

Reorganization and maintenance

Similar to necessary repairs, basic reorganization and maintenance tasks are “must-dos”. While buyers might not notice such work when it is done, they’re sure to notice when it isn’t. This impression of neglect will make it more difficult for them to comfortably project themselves into your home’s living space.

Pricing

Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most challenging, and also important, aspects of selling it.

In fact, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to set a price that’s so high that it discourages showings and serious offers from the very qualified, motivated buyers who would ultimately determine your property’s top market value.

Get a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate professional

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a document, drawn from a local Multiple Listings Service (MLS) database, that presents pricing information, property details and photos of homes similar to yours (termed “comparables”) that recently sold, failed to sell, or are currently on the market in your area. A real estate professional will typically provide you with a CMA.

Marketing

The successful marketing of a home, like that of any good or service, is a multi-faceted process that includes nearly every activity involved in getting it sold.

In fact, marketing encompasses just about every topic covered in this Guide – home preparation, pricing, presentation and even negotiation, as well as strategic advertising and networking.

Selling

Having invested in some of the effort and expense of preparing your home to sell, you’ll certainly want it to take full advantage of it when you open up your property to prospective buyers and other agents during open houses, agent tours and showings.

That’s why making sure your property looks its very best can give you that little extra competitive edge that will help get it sold. Keep in mind that many real estate professionals have, through education and experience, mastered the art of home staging. Make the most of their skills – and impartiality – to create that “buying feeling” in your home.

With rare exception, negotiating the transactionis the most complex part of selling a home. At the same time, it’s the one that can involve the most creativity. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced and savvy real estate professional who has successfully worked through many different transaction scenarios.

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