Four Tips for Selling Your Home

Four Tips for Selling Your Home

1- Scope out the Competition

Selling your home can be a really stressful time- even in robust markets. And with all the doom and gloom about the current housing crisis now being reported, the reality is that it home sellers are finding the process more difficult than ever. Seems to me, one of the first things to do is to find out what you're up against.

Just take a slow drive about your neighborhood – and even surrounding communities- to identify as many of your competitors as possible. Your goal is to learn from both the positives and negatives of each home. While every home is unique, doing a cold heartless eyeball comparison may just shed some new light on what to do to move your property. Landscaping and painting are probably the most common tasks to enhance curb appeal. Make sure you get actively involved here, don't just leave this to your realtor.

2- Don't Just Clean — Stage your Home

Naturally, most homeowners do clean to increase buyer appeal. Equally as important in the sales process is to actually clear clutter and rearrange furnishings. This often adds a feeling of attractive spaciousness and comfort. Some additional carefully selected accents and sprucing up may also help. A few pillows here and there or a new throw rug can do wonders to a room.

And since no one can be completely unbiased, it's especially important here to ask the opinion of others. Try not to just ask good friends and family— they may be unwilling to be completely upfront for the sake keeping your relationship intact. Seek out the help of more casual acquaintances, if possible. The more unbiased viewpoints taken into account, the better your chances of a successful home sale will be.

Spend some time checking out several episodes of popular renovation/remodeling TV shows for ideas. You may also consider hiring a professional stager. Since this can be an expensive option, shop around first.

3- Team Up with a Mortgage Professional Only

Of course, a critical component when selling your home is financing. In today's market, at least some knowledge of financing options is important for home sellers – as well as buyers. This is especially important given that there are more seller financing and innovative mortgage strategies available than ever before.

And due to industry layoffs, fewer experienced mortgage professionals are available. So, interview as many mortgage professionals as possible early on. Ask as many questions about terms and phrases you may not understand. Also get their opinion and input on recent success transactions. Ask for referrals, of course. This should give you a better feel as to their competencies in bringing qualified buyers to the table. You'll also gain a stronger foundation when (if) you re-enter the buyers market yourself.

4- Negotiate to Win

Nowadays, many home sellers are sorely tempted to accept the first offer that is presented. Some are also throwing in lots of amenities and making huge concessions to seal the deal. This can be a big mistake as buyers still expect to negotiate and always offer less than they are willing to pay. If you accept a buyer's first offer, you may be unnecessarily leaving profit on the table. As always, consult with your team of professionals throughout the process of selling your home and before taking a firm stance on any final decisions.