12 Tips For Selling Your Home

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By Cormac Reynolds / Published by Cormac Reynolds
All of us have heard that the real estate market is "bad" right now. However, what is bad for sellers is often good for buyers. That is exactly what is happening right now. Smart buyers are out in droves attempting to capitalize on a buyer's market. The following are 12 tips to help you sell your home.

1. Review your agent's online marketing. 

These days 92% of home buyers begin their search for a house online. If your online listing isn't compelling, then they won't ever drive over to actually see your house. Compelling in real estate terms is all about the photos. Trulia.com conducted a survey which showed that listings that had more than 6 photos were twice as likely to be looked at by buyers compared to listings with less than 6 photos. 

2. Post a video tour of your house on YouTube.

Buy a GoPro or FlipCam and then walk through both your neighborhood and home, and tell prospective buyers about all of the best parts - about your coffee shop or bakery, where you like to go on Saturday mornings, what your family loves most about your house, etc. Buyers love knowing that a home is well-loved and it also helps them visualizing being able to live a great life in the house as well. 

3. Allow your neighbors to choose their own new neighbors.

 If you happen to belong to any neighborhood email lists or online message boards, send a link to the online listing for your home to your neighbors. Invite your neighbors over to your open house as well - make it into a big block party. This will create opportunities for prospective buyers to be sold on the neighborhood by your neighbors and give your neighbors the chance to invite people they know who are looking for a new house and are interested in living in the area to see your home. 

4. Post your home's listing on Facebook and Instagram.

 These days Facebook is a great way to connect people. If you have around 200 friends and then each of your friends has 200 friends, just think how powerful that network can be about spreading the word about your home! Play the algo with a tool like this and it can really help you sell quickly.

5. Leave some good items behind.

 All of us are familiar with closing cost credit, however, they have become so common that these days buyers expect them. So it doesn't really help to distinguish your home from the other houses that are on the market now. What can help to distinguish your house is to leave some of your own personal property behind. Ideally this should be items that are over what the average home buyer for your house's price range could afford. That could be a golf cart if your house is located on a golf curse, a plasma screen television or stainless steel kitchen appliances. 

6. Beat your competition on condition.

 Much of your competition in many markets these days is short sales and low-priced foreclosures. One of the best ways that you can compete as a homeowner is on condition. Think about have a termite inspection conducted prior to listing you house, and also do as many repairs as possible. It is a major selling point when you can advertise a non-existent or low cost repair bill. In addition, be sure that the wobbly handles, doorknobs that aren't working and all of those small scratches and nicks are repair prior to you starting to show your house. 

 7. Stage your home's exterior as well.

Stage your house's exterior with immaculate landscaping, fresh paint and outdoor furniture set up on your deck for a Sunday brunch. Buyers have many fantasies about enjoying a new backyard by spending time and entertaining outdoors. 

8. Access is critical.

Houses that are not shown do not sell. Also, many short sale and foreclosure listings are vacant, which means they can shown at any time. So don't make it hard for agents to bring their clients to view your home - if they are only able to show your house during very restrictive time frames or need to make an appointment far in advance, then they will probably just eliminate your house from their list and show other homes that are easier to get access to. 

9. Set a realistic price.

 Buyers today are well educated about what an area's comparable sales are, which is a significant influence on your home's fair market value. They are also aware that they have the advantage. To ensure that your home is competitive, have your agent or broker get the sales prices for three of the most similar houses that have sold within your area over the past month or so. Try to price your home at 10% to 15% below this. The houses that seem like great deals are those receiving multiple offers and the ones that receive the most visits. 

10. Know your competition.

Work closely with your agent or broker to become educated about the condition, type of sale and price of other houses that your home is competing with. Attend some of the open houses that are in your area and perform a real estate reality check: be aware that buyers that view your home will be seeing those other houses as well - so be sure that your home comes out on top in this real-time comparison by ensuring that your house is in top condition. 

11. De-personalize. 

Pretend like you are moving out. Remove all of the items that make your home personal (e.g. memorabilia, family photos, etc). Pack them up and then put them into storage. Home buyers want to be able to visualize your home being their house - and that's hard to do when your personal items are prominent.

12. De-clutter. 

Pack up all of your knick knacks, and anything else that is sitting on top of a table, countertop or other flat surfaces. Also, any items you haven't used in over a year should go as well. Give away things, throw things out and then pack up the rest and prepare to move.

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