The most important decision you will make in the sale of your home is the Realtor you choose. Some points to consider:
Find someone you feel comfortable with. If you don’t feel you can ask questions or go to your Realtor, you have the wrong Realtor.
Your Realtor should show you research to back up any recommendations. This includes information about recent sales, current listings and recent expired listings in your neighbourhood.
Choose a local Realtor. He or she will know your area better than an outsider, will be seen as a source for people looking to relocate in your neighbourhood, and will get better co-operation from other agents. It is likely that any amount you might save by having a friend or relative from outside the area serve as your Realtor, will be lost in their lack of knowledge about the very specific local market.
Ask for references from the Realtor. He or she should be willing to give you names of previous clients.
Ask your friends and acquaintances for recommendations, but make your final choice based on your needs.
Ask the Realtor to show you what will be done to market your home. Consider the office and company support available to him or her as well as the initiative and professionalism shown by the individual.
Look for a Realtor who tells you what he or she knows from experience in the market, and not what they think you want to hear. Flattery may sometimes get the listing, but it doesn’t sell the home!
Benefits of Proper Pricing
When your home sells faster, you save carrying costs, mortgage payments and other ownership costs.
If you've moved before, you know the energy it takes to prepare for showings: keeping the home clean, making child care arrangements and altering your lifestyle. Proper pricing reduces these demands on you, by helping your home sell faster.
Exposure to more prospects
At market value, you open your home up to more people who can afford the price. Sellers who list at a high price in the hope that they’ll find the one purchaser who will pay it, often do not realize that they have discouraged many potential purchasers who could have afforded the price they end up accepting at a later date.
Increased salesperson response
When salespeople are excited about a home and its price, they make special efforts to contact all of their potential buyers. Knowing that it is priced properly for its market, they expect it to sell soon and encourage their prospects to act quickly. Their excitement is contagious!
Better response from advertising and sign calls
Ad calls and sign calls to Realtors turn into showings when price is not a deterrent. Most serious prospects are well educated about asking prices in the areas they are seeking, and will not waste time on a home they consider overpriced.
Attracts higher offers
When a home is priced right, buyers fear they might lose out on a good home , so they are less likely to make "low ball offers."
Means more money to sellers
If a home is priced right, the excitement of the market produces higher sale prices. You net more both in terms of actual sale price and in less carrying costs.
Make a Good First Impression
First impressions count with buyers. In today's age of consumerism, every buyer is comparative shopping. A small investment in time and money can give your home a solid advantage over competing properties. So by paying attention to detail now, you can enhance the perceived value later. The following are some suggestions for preparing your home to show to its best advantage.
Create A Buying Mood
- Turn on lights
- Turn on air conditioner/heater
- Open the drapes
- Light the fireplace
- Keep lawns cut
- Trim hedges and shrubs
- Weed and edge gardens
- Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
- Clean out garage
- Touch up paint
- Make repairs where needed
- Clear halls and stairs of clutter
- Store surplus furniture
- Clear kitchen counter and stove top
- Clear closets of unnecessary clothing
- Remove empty boxes and containers
- Repair leaking taps and toilets
- Clean furnace and filters
- Tighten door knobs and latches
- Repair cracked plaster
- Touch up paint
- Clean and repair windows
- Repair seals around tubs and basins
- Replace defective light bulbs
- Oil squeaking doors
- Repair squeaking floor boards
- Clean and freshen bathrooms
- Clean fridge and stove (in and out)
- Clean around heating vents
- Clean washer and dryer
- Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
At The Front Door
- Clean porch and foyer
- Ensure door bell works
- Repair screen on door
- Fresh paint or varnish front door
- Repair door locks and key access
Send change of address to:
- Post Office: Give forwarding address
- Subscriptions: Notice requires several weeks
- Friends & Relatives
Be sure to contact:
- Bank: Transfer funds, arrange check-cashing in new city.
- Insurance: Notify new location for coverage (Life, health, fire, auto, homeowners).
- Automobile: Transfer car title registration; also driver's license; state windshield sticker; motor club membership.
- Utilities: Gas, light, water, telephone, fuel, get refund of any deposit made; arrange for immediate service in new town; arrange final reading and change of name for billing.
- Route Men: Laundry, paper boy, milk man:change over services.
- School: Ask for copies or transfer of children's records.
- Medical: Ask Doctor, Dentist, Pharmacist for referrals; transfer needed prescriptions, eye glasses, X-rays and records.
- Organizations: Transfer memberships (Houses of worship, clubs, civic organizations); get letter of introduction.
- Pets: Ask about regulations for licenses, vaccinations, tags.
And, don't forget to:
- Empty freezer; plan use of foods.
- Defrost freezer-refrigerator. (Place charcoal to dispel odors.)
- Have appliances serviced for moving.
- Clean rugs or clothing, before moving; have them "moving-wrapped."
- Check with your moving counselor: insurance coverage, packing and unpacking labor, arrival day, various shipping papers, method and time of expected payment.
- Plan for special care needs of infants.
- Plan garage sale.
And on moving day:
- Carry currency, jewelry, documents yourself; or use registered mail.
- Plan for transporting pets. (They are poor traveling companions if unhappy.) Make sure you can be found if they become lost.
- Carry traveler's checks for quick available funds.
- Tell close friends or relatives your route and schedule (including overnight stops). Use them as "message headquarters."
- Double check closets, drawers, shelves (to be sure they are empty).
- Leave all old keys. needed by new tenant or owners, with agent or Realtor.