by Jeff Setlow
Realtor/Founding Partner at GetAnAgent.com
When you’re ready to list your home for sale, there are a few key elements to making your transaction go smoothly and profitably. Following these simple yet crucial guidelines mean thousands, even tens of thousands, more in your pocket.
Buyer and Seller Beware
Choosing the right real estate agent may seem an obvious first step, yet many of us do not follow this cardinal rule when listing our homes for sale. But, you may ask, “How do I find a Realtor® who is thorough, professional, market-savvy, and honest?” Referrals are often your safest and surest route to a great real estate agent. Whether you have personal references from friends, family and colleagues that a particular agent will serve you well, or enlist the professional services of a real estate referral agency, checking your real Realtor’s® credentials and track record is your best insurance against faulty real estate transactions. An independent agency is often in a better position than your inner circle to make agent referrals. Sales that strain all parties, do not result in a closing, or leave unexpected elements untended after closing, are not what any of us wants when buying or selling a home. For a clean sale, choose a reputable Realtor®.
Curb Appeal and Your Inside Straight
Never underestimate the importance of visual presentation when selling your residential real estate. Inside and out, the brighter and tidier your property appears to the eye, the more potential buyers will be shown your home and the more they’ll be able to image themselves living in it. Straighten up and thoroughly de-clutter rooms and storage areas, including the garage and basement. Kitchens and bathrooms should appear as spotless. Ensure there are no negative signs of pets. Make cosmetic repairs. Plant flowers or shrubs and, above all, let the sun shine in. Your bottom line depends on it.
Price It Right and “Buyers Be There”
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is your and your Realtor’s® top tool to establish an asking price for your home. Your real estate agent will closely compare and analyze past sales and current residential real estate listings in your neighborhood and zip code for the most reliable estimate of what price your house will sell for. Priced right, your home will sell in a reasonable amount of time for a fair price.
Another strategy that works as well today as it did a quarter century ago is to create conditions that result in competitive offers. Not recommended for the faint of heart, yet highly recommended for flat markets, or when in need of a quick sale; bidding wars are more like bidding bounty for Sellers. Once you’ve established a fair market value price though your Realtor’s® CMA, offer your home for about 15% less than its value and expect competitive offers above asking price. Having sold numerous listings and all of my personal properties this way, the method has never disappointed.