Hire a Listing Agent– Interview at least 3 different realtors in your immediate area. Ask questions on how they will market the home, their experience, and commissions. You are hiring someone to sell possibly your biggest asset, so you need a professional. After you interview 3 different realtors you want to go with the one you feel most comfortable with. There may be strong points from each of them that maybe you can incorporate into one. Maybe one realtor offers a great marketing idea well you can have the other realtor agree to do that same idea. Maybe you feel most comfortable with the agent that has the highest commission fee. You can try and negotiate the rate. All in all this is a process you want to go with the professional that will get the job done. Use your judgment in evaluating these realtors and trust the one you hire.
Get Your Home Ready to Sale – Ask your realtor for their advice as to what needs to be done to your home. Simple scenarios are you want each room to look as big as possible. Moving furniture to different places or out of the house completely is quite common. Yes it is okay to fill your garage with all your extra stuff. Staging a home is often needed to either finish off a house or make a vacant home look like home. Staging is a great way to help sell your home. Getting a professionals opinion on what looks good is very helpful sometimes. Completely clean your home from the floors to the outsides of the windows. You want buyers coming through your home to be impressed with how clean your home is. The yards should be well maintained and possibly add some new bark in some areas. Weekly maintenance will be required when you are on the market. Now that your home is cleaner then ever has been, the hard part is keeping it clean so go live in a hotel now! Just kidding just do your best to keep it as clean as it is now.
Price your home – This is a very critical stage in the home selling process. You want the most for your and so does your realtor. Remember realtors are paid on percentages of the sales prices so the more you make the more we make. Review the comparable sales in your area. Analysis price per square foot, upgrades, and locations from those comps to yours. Then look at what your competition is, see what else is available at your price point. Over pricing your home almost always costs you more money in the long run. When a home sits on the market buyers rarely revisit the home and the listing becomes stale. Then you may have to reduce the price but by then most the buyers will know how long you have been on the market. In most cases buyers will only offer you much lower then you are asking. It is best to price your home so that it is clearly the best home at the price point.
Market Your Home – The National Association of Realtors released this amazing statistic that almost 90% of buyers find the home they end up buying online! The days of print advertising in newspapers and magazine are not what sales homes any more. The agent you decide to work with had better have a strong online marketing campaign. The websites with the most traffic is zillow.com, trulia.com and realtors.com. You need your home on at least those three sites but hope fully more. Be sure to view your home online to make sure everything looks accurate. Some local newspapers or magazine advertising is a good idea but do not put too much emphasis on it. Open houses again are useful to market the home but are rarely successful. Most of the time nosey neighborhoods outweigh the actually buyers on a Sunday afternoon. The most important thing your realtor can do is simply put the home on the MLS. The local MLS is what sales most of the homes. Realtors working with buyers will schedule viewings based on the information on the MLS. The MLS is the backbone to all real estate sales.
Show Your Home – Showing your home is what you have been working so hard for. You have spent time hiring a realtor, you have cleaned the heck out of your house, and you have made sure your home is out there so everyone can see. Now it is time to sell it! Realtors will typically a realtor will schedule an appointment with you to show some prospective buyers your home. Then you want to straighten up your home. Make the beds, wash the dishes and get it back to be it was after the big clean. Then turn on all the lights and open all the blinds, you want the home to be as light as possible. Maybe turn on some slow jazz to get the buyers in a relaxing mood. Finally leave the home! You do not want to be there because you want the buyers to be relaxed. They will not spend as much time there if you are there. The absolute worst thing you can do is give the realtor and the buyer a tour of your home. Go take the dog for a walk or go out to dinner but just don’t be there when they get there. You need to be flexible yet don’t let agents walk over you. If an agent to come show the house after 8:00pm ask if there is another time they can come through. If the buyers are from out of town and this is the only time available then let them in. There is a general rule of no showings before 10:00 am and none after 7:00pm, but sometimes you need to bend the rules.
Receive Offers & Negotiate – The number one rule is not to get emotional! Yes this is your home that you have loved and cared for, but business is business. If you get an offer that is not what you hoped for, do your best to handle it in a business manner. Ask your realtors their thoughts. The agent should have had a discussion with the buyer’s agent, to go over the offer details. Make sure your realtor has spoken to the buyer’s lender to confirm the buyer is approved for the loan amount stated in the contract. Once you have gone over these important steps make a decision that best supports your position.