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The 8 Steps You Can Take to Get Your Home Sold Quickly and for Top Dollar

Selling your home is a major undertaking. Following these 8 steps gives you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process.

    The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. It's very important to set out in writing the reasons that are motivating you to sell your current home. Every decision you make, and every step you take is crucial in helping you get what you want, in the time you want, with the fewest hang-ups possible. What's more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market? Different goals will dictate different strategies. As the saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there?"

    Make sure not to discuss your motivation with anyone else (other than your Realtor®), or they could use it against you at the negotiating table. If someone asks you why you're moving, simply say that your housing needs have changed.

    Settling on an asking price shouldn't be done lightly. What's the best way to make sure that your home sits on the market? Overprice it. Make sure to ask for more than any home has ever sold for in your neighborhood. By setting the price too high, you turn away the best prospects for your home. An overpriced property will not sell, and will most likely become devalued over time as it becomes stale on the market! Once you've set your price, you've told buyers the maximum they have to pay for your home, and pricing too high is even more dangerous than pricing too low. Understand that the average buyer is looking at 15 - 20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. This means that they have a basis of comparison, and if your home doesn't compare favorably with others in the price range you've set, you won't be taken seriously by buyers or agents. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time and, knowing this; new buyers on the market will think that there must be something wrong with your home. We can do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), and help you set the best price for your home.

    Nearly 75% of homeowners claim that they wouldn't use the same Realtor® who sold their last home. Their dissatisfaction is mainly due to poor communication by the agent, which results in not enough feedback, a lower sale price (if it sells at all!), and a strained relationship. Don't list your home with an agent just because they say that they can get you a higher price than anyone else, because they sent you a Christmas card every year since you moved in, or because you used them when you bought your home 20 years ago. Agents who promise to get you a higher price are just trying to "buy" your listing. They'll tell you what you want to hear, just to get your business. Another FREE report we provide, called, "10 Questions You HAVE to Ask Before You Hire an Agent," gives you the no nonsense questions you should be asking when you interview agents who want to list your home.

    Each year, corporate America spends billions of dollars on product and packaging design. Appearance is crucial, and it would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home. In the competitive marketplace, you need to show your house at its best. Your home should be in "move-in" condition from the first day it's listed. Buyers love homes that are bright, fresh and clean (and they will often pay a premium for a home that is already in great shape before they move in)! We live in our homes one way; and market and sell them in another. Picture model homes in a new development. They are professionally decorated by high priced Interior Designers. Builders spend all that money to create an atmosphere that appeals to all the senses, and allows Buyers to feel "at home," and imagine themselves living there. We need to create a similar atmosphere.

    You may not be able to change your home's location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates more of an emotional response than any other factor. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten up, declutter, scrub, scour, and dust. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a "wow" response from prospective buyers.

    Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Buyers want to "try on" your home, just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements, or if your decor is so different that it's difficult for a buyer to strip it away in their mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves as the owner.

    If people can't get in to see your home when they want to, they'll never make an offer. Using a lockbox has been shown to increase the number of showings by over 30%. You should give your agent nearly free reign to create a timetable of showings that will meet the needs of most buyers. Flexibility is the key, and while that means you'll have to stay on top of the housekeeping, you will probably sell your home faster. Remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver's seat.

    Studies show that it's more difficult to sell a vacant home, because it looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply unappealing. It could even cost you thousands of dollars. If you move, you're also telling buyers that you have a new home, and are probably highly motivated to sell quickly. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.

    In negotiations, your objective is to control the pace and the duration of the process. What is the buyer's motivation? Do they need to move quickly? Do they have enough money to pay your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation, because then you know how far you can push to get what you want.

    Every offer is worth responding to, even if the buyer is several thousand dollars below your asking price. The message you send back is encoded in your counter-offer. If you come back even $100 lower, you suggest to the buyer that you're willing to entertain a serious offer, but that the current offer won't cut it.

    By not responding at all, you risk annoying the buyer by not playing the game, and they might just move on to the next property. What is a good offer? An offer that either comes within spitting distance of, or exceeds, the minimum price you'd be willing to accept for your property. Recognize that, and you've come a long way towards selling your home.

    For your part as a seller, make sure that you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, they can't come back with a lawsuit later on.

    Make sure that all terms, costs, and responsibilities are spelled out, in writing, in the purchase contract, and resist the temptation to stray from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. This is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

When you put your home on the market, you want to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process. By taking these 8 steps you're practically ensuring yourself of sales success. For further help or questions please feel free to contact us at South Shore Real Estate.