For Sellers

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

First impressions are not just for people, they are just as important when you are trying to sell your house. You want your potential buyer to walk away with a good impression. There are several easy, quick and low cost things you can do to increase your chances of getting your asking price and selling quickly. When people make an investment commitment as big as a house, they can be picky, and seek perfection. You can be proactive and make it an enjoyable experience by being ready.

  • If you are showing in the spring or summer make sure to have the lawn and landscaping looking nice. Mowing the lawn, pruning and weeding cost nothing, but can make a big difference by looking kept up and cared for. Most people assume that if you take care of the yard, chances are, you take care of the house.
  • Making sure that there is no chipped paint can make a big difference too. If your house was built before 1978, there is a new federal law that requires the seller to complete a lead base paint disclosure statement. Be proactive in this area as well. Have the inspection done beforehand, it looks good to the prospective buyer, and it saves time.
  • Really clean your house before you show it. It’s simple and free, and it can make all the difference in the world. Cleaning windows inside and out can be one step that people forget, but after the winter months, it’s imperative to make the house look as clean as possible. The bathroom is another area where people seem to make judgments, so make sure your bathrooms are spotless!
  • Set an ambiance. Studies have shown that soothing smells in the house can help make a house seem more like a home. Like baking cookies, cakes or pies, and even spaghetti. People like to be reminded of good memories, and cooking and baking has shown to do that. Also think about playing some soft background music and light candles if you are present when the buyers are viewing your house. This makes the place seem cozy and inviting. Small little touches can make all the difference on attracting a buyer!

What Is A House Worth?

A home is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Everything else beyond that is an estimate of value. There are two main ways to estimate a property's value. The first is an appraisal and the second is a comparative market analysis. It is recommended to do both and then to compare & contrast.

A certified appraiser performs an appraisal. This is an estimate of the value of a home at a given point in time. When an appraiser estimates your home's value, they base in on several items. They take into account square footage, construction quality, the year the house was built, the design and floor plan, the neighborhood, availability of transportation, local shopping, schools, lot size, topography, view, landscaping, and any additions or updates. The cost of an appraisal averages about $300 and it usually only takes about a half an hour to an hour to complete. If you are unaware of whom to use, you can ask your mortgage lender, they usually have one to two appraisers that they work with regularly. Remember that an appraisal is only valid for one year, so if it takes you over a year to sell, or you refinance within a year, you need another appraisal done. This ensures that the appraisals remain accurate.

Your real estate agent performs a comparative market analysis. They usually provide this to you once you list your house on the market with them. They pull three to four homes with the same square footage and amenities. This compares your house to other very similar homes that sold in your neighborhood. This is usually a free service provided to you by your agent that can give you a benchmark of where your asking price should be.

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