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Seller’s Tips

1. The Seller's role

When you are selling your house, you are selling a piece of valuable property. But to the buyers, when they buy a property, they are buying a "home." A "home" is a word with sentimental value -it cannot be valued in the terms of money and other material possessions. A "house" is a more rational word, which has a measure of value and can have a cost placed upon it.

When you are selling your house, the first thing you have to do is to get rid of your sentimental feelings for the property. Think of your property as a product on the market, your purpose is to show your product to the buyers.

These buyers then look at your property as possibly their future home.

If sellers don't realize what they are selling is a house, a property, and not their "home," they will guarantee themselves a long, painful journey of getting rid of their property.

2. Help the buyer to use their imagination

When buyers come to see a house, they have come to see if this house is going to be their home. Therefore, smart sellers will decorate the house so it looks a little impersonal. The reasons for this is because it's hard for the buyers to imagine a particular house as their future home when they see all these trophies and family portraits of other people hanging on the wall.

Therefore, I strongly suggest that sellers put away vivid personal symbols and decorate the house neutrally.

3. Get rid of all junks and organize your house

When you lived in a house for a long period of time, you will accumulate a number of things that you probably never use and never throw away. When you are selling your house, however, you have to get rid of all unnecessary clatters. Generally, start with these four major areas: kitchen, closet, furniture, and the storage.

  • Kitchen: keep the counter free of all clatters. Clean and organize all the drawers and cabinets. Put away as much things as possible, leave only the essential things that you might need in daily life.
  • Closet: it's easy to accumulate miscellaneous items in the closet. Box up anything not in season and put them away. This will make your closet appear roomier.
  • Furniture: remove all excess furniture. Again leave only the things you really need-a sofa and coffee table, which will leave the buyers a lot of room to imagine where their furniture will go.
  • Storage: useless boxes and miscellaneous items will be piled up in most people's attic, garage, or other storage areas. Force yourself to throw away all the things that you probably won't take with you to your new house.

4. Make your house a show stopper

Do a thorough cleaning before putting your house on the market. A clean house gives prospective buyers the impression that the whole house is well maintained including the out of sight items such as plumbing or heating. While you may feel that achieving such a high level of cleanliness is seemingly impossible for amateurs your efforts will pay off! Begin by washing the walls, windows and doors and shampooing carpets. If you have hardwood you may want to get them professionally cleaned and varnished. Put a drop of oil in squeaky joints. Polish brass hinges and doorknobs. Check the seller's checklist for more detail.

5. Preparing for the open house

Painting is an inexpensive update which can make a dramatic impact on your home. Colour and light are usually the first things people become aware of upon entering a room. Painting with light tones can make a room seem larger and brighter. Select colours on the wall can highlight those in the furniture, rugs or accessories. Usually this is done with complimentary colours (yellow-purple, blue-orange, and red-green) used sparingly or in light tones. Pale yellow walls, for example may highlight royal purple cushions on a sofa.

Flowers are another easy way to make a room seem more appealing. A thirty-dollar investment in a few bouquets can make your home seem cheery and well attended to in the eyes of prospective buyers. If you run out of vases you can always try the rustic look: a clean mason jar (labels removed) with a large bow around the top or pop cans inside a deep basket then covered with florist's moss. Try a large bouquet in the living room or dining room and delicate arrangements of a few flowers in each other room.

Baking bread, playing soft music, and adding additional plants to your home, are all psychological cues that make a potential home buyer feel like your home is a nice place to live in and they will spend more time previewing your house. Outdoor planters and indoor floral arrangements are visually pleasing.

6. Have a pet?

If you have pets, ensure that their dishes, sleeping areas, and litter boxes are clean. Any noticeable pet hair should be vacuumed, and dog droppings removed from the yard.

7. You need to make sure your home is the most valuable property in your community.

Every home has its pros and cons. Even if a property is the same model as another, there can still be a lot of variation in price. It is fairly difficult to set a price because you need to have a good understanding of your competition. Just because a property across from yours has the same floor plan but is in better condition and has more features doesn't mean you can't sell your home. Every buyer has their own requirements, standards, and unique taste. Say they're comparing a $500,000 home with no upgrades, a $550,000 with some upgrades, and a $600,000 with top of the line upgrades. In this situation the buyer will need to take a closer look at all the homes. They might feel that they can spend $30,000 to upgrade the $500,000 house to a higher level than the $550,000 one. If that is the case, they can customize the upgrades they want and end up spending less overall. Every home has its own reasonable value so you just need to make sure the price you set is suitable for your property. Even if your property doesn't seem as nice compared to others you can adjust the price to make your property the most worth the price.

8. Using a professional realtor

You'll experience a wide variety of benefits when you hire a real estate professional. Successfully selling a property is a complicated exercise, and Realtors have the experience, resources and contacts to complete your sale quickly and smoothly.

Pricing
A Realtor will set the selling price of your property at a level that accurately reflects its value in current market conditions and will not cost you missed opportunities.

Marketing
A Realtor will have many useful suggestions on ways to improve the marketability of your property, including cosmetic repairs and other items that will create a favorable impression among buyers. Your property will enjoy a wider exposure among buyers when you use a Realtor. In addition to using flyers and organizing open house days, a Realtor's extensive contact list of former clients, newly qualified buyers and other industry professionals can significantly reduce the time your property is on the market. A Realtor will also allow you to tap into a highly productive and extensive industry network, such as a Multiple Listing Service or other industry marketing system.
Advertising your property efficiently is another area where a Realtor can play an important role. A Realtor's experience in deciding on the most appropriate type and frequency of advertising for your property can be invaluable. For example, placing too many ads can create the impression that there may be something wrong with the property or that the seller is desperate.

Security
Security is a major consideration when showing your home. By using a Realtor, you can rest assured that all showings will be pre-screened and supervised.

Negotiating
When negotiating a purchase, most buyers prefer to deal with a middleperson who is objective, unemotional and professional. Buyers will often feel more comfortable with a Realtor than with the owner when they want to raise issues that need resolving before making an offer.

Monitoring, Renegotiating, Closing or Settling
A Realtor will guide you through the minefield of potential problems associated with the appraisal, inspection and financing process. In addition, your agent can meet and instruct any specialists who may be required for repairs or other issues that need to be completed before closing.