12 Expert Tips To Make More Money When Selling Your Home
Eric Stewart ● September 15, 2022
12 Tips To Get Top Dollar When Selling Your Home
Every seller hopes to sell their home fast and for top dollar. After 33 years in the real estate business, helping everyone from condo owners to luxury home owners successfully sell their home, I have put together 12 tips to help you through this process.
I hope you find these tips useful in selling what may be one of your most lucrative investments!
1. Decide upon your Realtor®.
“Real estate agent” and “Realtor®” are not always interchangeable terms. A real estate agent becomes a Realtor® when he or she joins the National Association of Realtors®. Be sure to choose a Realtor® who adheres to the NAR code of ethics. The Realtor® should have experience selling homes in the area where your home is located. For the top 10 questions to ask when interviewing a Realtor®, please download my Market Ready Guide.
2. Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).
Your Realtor® should help you understand the market conditions and trends in your area by providing you with a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA shows the prices of comparable, recently sold homes and also homes that are currently on the market. Your Realtor® should explain to you why each home was included in the CMA. The active homes are your competition, so make sure you have a clear understanding of how they compare to your house. Good information is critical.
3. Don’t price yourself into a corner.
Before setting your price make sure you give yourself room to negotiate. Make sure you understand not only the highest price you want, but also the lowest price you’ll accept.
Looking at the competition will also give you a good idea of where to set your price. But make sure you look with an objective eye. It’s not in your best interest to be overly critical of the competition and overly generous regarding your own property. As you assess the competition, look at other listings priced 5% above and 5% below what you want to ask to see what else buyers can get for their money.
4. Price on the fulcrum.
Pricing your house between two pricing brackets will get you more potential buyers. If you price your house at $500,000, for example, you will get buyers from the $400,000-$500,000 bracket as well as the $500,0000- $600,000 bracket. Of course, this only makes sense when pricing close to a fulcrum number.
5. Curb appeal matters!
The old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” holds true with the exterior of your house. Curb appeal is key to drawing potential buyers into your house. Ensuring that your house is well-polished on the outside will invite prospective buyers to see what is on the inside.
6. Make it shine.
A good cleaning is a crucial step in preparing to sell your home. Be a clutter buster! Potential buyers want to be able to envision their furniture fitting into your house; if there is too much clutter in the way they will never have that opportunity. Additionally, clutter can make a spacious room seem small and cramped. Consider taking some things out and putting them into storage.
7. Keep it fresh!
Take a deep breath: how does your home smell? You may be used to the smells that are in your house, but potential buyers are not. If you have odors from pets, cooking, or smoke, do your best to eliminate them.
8. Keep emotions in check.
Selling a home can be an emotional process, but keep in mind that this is a business transaction. You’ll have an advantage over a buyer who gets caught up emotionally in the situation.
9. Disclose any issues up front.
Be smart: don’t try to hide any defects or issues from the buyer. Any problems you are aware of should be fixed before your house goes on the market. We usually don’t recommend pre-market inspections: you want to be concerned primarily with issues that the buyer raises.
10. Don’t be offended by a low offer.
Sometimes the first offer you receive is below your asking price. Don’t get offended; evaluate the offer objectively. Consider the price, the deposit, the amount of the down payment, the mortgage amount, the closing date, and any special requests. This is the starting point from which you can negotiate. You can always counter a low offer.
11. Make sure the contract is solid.
To avoid problems, make sure that all terms, costs, and responsibilities are clearly spelled out in the contract. Your agent should review in detail where the earnest money deposit will be held, the date for loan approval, the date and the place of closing, as well as any contingencies that remain to be settled, and what is and isn’t included in the sale. Follow through is vital.
12. Make sure all changes are in writing.
If there are any changes requested by the buyer or yourself, make sure that they are in writing. That way there is less chance that any changes will be a surprise and put the transaction at risk.