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Sellers' Corner - Selling a Home

Selling a home is a big decision and requires a lot of work. From getting the house ready to reviewing the escrow papers, our helpful guide will walk you through the process of selling your home:

4Are you ready? The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It's necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out. Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers - and as much demand - as possible. While part of the "getting ready" phase relates to repairs, painting and other home improvements, this is also a good time to ask why you really want to sell.

4When should you sell? The marketplace tends to be more active in the summer because parents want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year (usually August). The summer is also typically when most homes are likely to be available. Generally speaking, markets tend to have some balance between buyers and sellers year-round. In a given community, for example, there may be fewer buyers in late December, but there are also likely to be fewer homes available for purchase. So, home prices tend to rise or fall because of general demand patterns rather than the time of the year.

4How do you improve your home's value? The general rule in real "blue" is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved. Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Furthermore, improvements should reflect community preferences. Cosmetic improvements - paint, wallpaper and landscaping - help a home "show" better and often are good investments. Mechanical repairs - to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition - are required to get a top price.

4Setting the price;The single most important step in selling your home is setting the asking price. Set it too high and your home will not sell. Set it too low and you lose money. The most common error made by homeowners is overpricing their property based on nothing more than wishful thinking. Avoid this mistake by getting a professional appraisal done on your home. To appraise your home means to estimate its value in the current market. Market value is the highest price that a property is likely to fetch at the current time. In addition to their experience and knowledge of the local real estate market, professional appraisers will primarily use a direct sales comparison to value your home. This estimate of value is obtained by comparing your property with recently sold properties in your area. The appraisal itself usually consists of 2 steps. The first step is the site inspection. The appraiser will come on-site and measure the square footage of your home and take note of its physical features, location etc. Step 2 is the largest portion of work and consists of a market analysis. The appraiser compares your home to others sold recently in your area. Since no 2 real estate properties are exactly alike and market conditions are constantly changing, the appraiser must adjust the value of your home according to a variety of factors when compared to other homes sold in your area. Some important factors in comparing homes are the home's style, size, area, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities such as fireplaces, decks and pools. Make sure the appraiser gives you a formal, written report. Rely heavily on this report when setting the price of your home since it is based on much more than the average homeowner can research on their own. If you have doubts about the estimated value consider getting a second independent appraisal. Your buyer will likely want to know that your price is close to market value. Show them the appraisal to demonstrate that your price is fair.

4Advertising and Marketing; once you have taken care of preparing your home you need to move on to advertising it. Your attractive home may sell itself but only if buyers know that it is for sale. Your objectives for marketing your home should be to get the word out that it is for sale and provide enough information to potential buyers that they will want to investigate further. Determine a marketing budget. Accept the fact that it will cost money to get the word out and plan for it. Determine the advertising media you have available to you. The more information you can get in front of the greatest number of people the better. The Internet is an important factor in real estate marketing and Worldperty can help you with all the advertising and marketing needs for selling your home.

4What's an acceptable offer? The goal of every seller is to have a line of buyers outside the front door, each clutching higher and higher offers. And while this has been known to happen, in most markets there is some balance between the number of buyers and sellers. A number of factors determine whether a buyer's offer is acceptable. They include: Is the offer at or near the asking price? Is the offer above the asking price? Has the buyer accepted the asking price or something close? Has the buyer then buried thousands of dollars in discounts and seller costs within tiny clauses and contract additions? What is the alternative to the buyer's offer? If a home has not attracted an offer in months, then sellers need to determine if a better deal is possible -- recognizing that each month costs are being incurred for mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. Does the owner have enough time to wait for other offers? What if no other offers are received? What if several offers are received? Do you choose the high offer from the purchaser with questionable finances who may not be able to close, or a somewhat lesser offer from a buyer with preapproved financing?

4What is a counter-offer? When a home is made available for sale the owner is essentially making an offer to buyers: For a given number of dollars and other terms you can acquire this home. Buyers, in turn, can respond with several options: • Not interested. • Yes, we'll buy on the owner's terms. • We're interested and here's our counter-offer. A counter-offer is nothing more than a new offer. And just as the buyer had three options in response to the owner's original price and terms, the seller can now choose one of three reactions: accept the offer, decline the offer or make a fresh counter-offer.