20 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar
1. Think About When You Want To Move. Decide if you want or need to move quickly. Know your time frame.
2. Do Not Disclose Why You Are Moving. Disclosing to a prospective buyer or their agent why you are moving could put you at a disadvantage in negotiating. If asked, a simple answer may be, “My housing needs have changed.”
3. Set a Realistic Price. Pricing your home too high will alienate buyers as soon as it hits the market and is perceived as an over-priced listing. You want your selling price to be as close to your asking price as possible.
4. Shop Around. Check out the competition. Visit a neighborhood open house to compare the value to your home. Watch listings for sale and closed prices. If your neighbor's home is for sale, don’t price yours above it if it is not truly worth more.
5. Pick the Right Realtor. All Realtors are not the same! First of all, you want a full-time career Realtor, one that is earning their livelihood through real estate sales; not a secondary earner or someone who works in real estate to flip properties or as a hobby. If you choose to try to sell on your own, most Realtors will assist you as best they can with paperwork, contracts, etc
6. Give Yourself a Buffer. When pricing your home give yourself a little leeway to buffer you in the event of negotiated repairs, closing costs and other expenses that may arise.
7. Make a Good First Impression. The appearance of your home is key to the success of selling your home. Do not put it on the market until you cleaned, painted, landscaped, made repairs or anything that you need to have your home sparkling.
8. Get a Second Opinion. Ask your Realtor what they would recommend you do to get your home in tip-top shape for marketing.
9. Reduce Clutter. A buyer needs to visualize themselves in your current space. Eliminating toys, photos and highly personalized items and clutter will give them so breathing room and allow them to picture their own furniture and belongings in your home.
10. Consider Hiring a Stager. Stagers can give you a decorator’s view and make some small and inexpensive changes & suggestions that can make a world of difference to people viewing your home. Ask your Realtor for a recommendation. Some offer staging as a free service to sellers.
11. Own Up. Disclose everything that is wrong or potentially defective in and on your property. You are required by law to complete a Residential State Disclosure form and make it available to anyone wishing to purchase your property. You can decline to complete the disclosure but that will spook buyers and you will need to pay a fee at closing.
12. Detach Yourself. Don’t let emotion rule when you’re negotiating. Look at your home as a product for sale. This is a business transaction and should be treated as one. If you become emotional you are less effective in negotiations.
13. Know the Buyer. Learn as much as you can about the motivations of the buyer. The more you know about their situation and preferences the better negotiating position you will be in.
14. Don’t Buy Your Next Home Until You Sell This One. Unless of course, you don’t need to sell to buy or you are working with your Realtor on a guaranteed sale where they buy your home so that you can move to your new home worry free.
15. Try to Stay Until You Sell. If possible try not to market an empty house. Statistics have shown that empty houses typically take longer to sell and are less appealing to a buyer. You may also hire a stager to help you arrange a small amount of loaned furniture on a short term basis if needed.
16. Low Ball Offers- Don’t Take it Personally. Sometimes an initial offer can be perceived as insultingly low. Don’t take it personally and look at the total package-not just the price. Look at the timing, the testing contingencies, and the financing and come back with a counter offer that you are comfortable with.
17. Make Sure your Buyer Can Buy. Before you entertain any offer, you should be sure that your buyer is qualified to purchase your home. Any offer should be submitted with at least a pre-qualification but preferably a pre-approval from a reputable mortgage company or bank. Your agent should confirm the eligibility of the buyer with the lender.
18. Dot your I’s and Cross your T’s. Make sure your contract is completely signed and initialed where it should be. Be sure that all the terms of the contract are understood and agreed to. The last thing you want to do is take your home off the market to have it fall through because a contingency wasn’t met or agreed upon.
19. Personal Property. Have a clear distinction between what is personal property and what is included in the sale. Items remaining with the house should be clearly stated in the contract. Be sure to complete the Inclusions/Exclusions Rider provided by your Realtor.
20. Stick to Your Guns. Once you have a signed and agreed upon contract. Resist any attempts by the buyer to modify terms after this, such as by moving in early, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Your attorney can assist in hold harmless waiver to allow access but if you can avoid it, don’t take a chance that they will decide not to close on the property.