Selling Market Your House for Maximum Exposure

Once you’ve made the commitment to sell your home, chosen a Realtor to represent you, and established a list price, it’s time to work with your Realtor to market your property so it sells as quickly as possible.

Your Realtor should share a marketing plan with you, but the more you know about the process of selling your home the easier it is to support your Realtor’s efforts.

Pre-Market Tips

The day your home goes on the market it should be in and priced right to attract the most potential buyers. While your Realtor can help you determine an appropriate price and can offer suggestions to make your home more appealing, your job is to put in the work to get your home pristine clean and to remove clutter and personalization.

Many Realtor’s have experience staging homes, or they can bring in a stager to rearrange your place. In addition, your Realtor should market your home in multiple ways:

Take excellent photos or hire a professional photographer to showcase your home online with attractive pictures.

List your home on the local Multiple Listing Service and make sure it receives maximum exposure on multiple websites.

Take a video of your home or produce a virtual tour with numerous photos so your home can be viewed in-depth by buyers looking online.

What Your Realtor Should Expect From You While your Realtor does the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing, as a seller you need to support your Realtor in several ways:

Keep your home as clean, neat and odor-free as possible while your home is on the market. This may mean that you have to give up cooking your favorite liver-and-onions dish and that you have to bribe your kids to make their beds and take out the trash every day.

Make your home as available as possible to buyers, no matter how inconvenient it is for you and your family. Your home won’t sell if no one can see it.

Leave the house when buyers are there, since studies have shown that buyers linger and look more carefully when the homeowners aren’t present.

Lock up your pets or take them away when buyers are visiting, especially during an when multiple visitors are expected.

Provide information to buyers about community amenities or neighborhood sports leagues so they can appreciate your home’s location.

How Do You Improve Your Home’s Value?

The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. This means you want to put on the market a home that fits with the neighborhood but is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 square feet of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and would be more difficult to sell.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, reflects community preferences and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Cosmetic improvements, paint, wallpaper, landscaping, etc., help a home show better and often are good investments. Mechanical repairs that ensure all systems and appliances are in good working condition are required to get a top price.

Ideally, you want to be sure your property is competitive with other homes available in the community. Realtors, who see numerous homes, can provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.

What Is Your Home Worth?

The value of your home relates to local sale prices: The same home, located elsewhere, would likely have a different value.

Sale prices are a product of supply and demand: If you live in a community with an expanding job base, a growing population and a limited housing supply, it’s likely that prices will rise. However, it’s important to be realistic. If the local community is losing jobs and people are moving out, then you’ll likely have a buyer’s market.

Owner needs can impact sale values: If owner Smith “must” sell quickly, he will have less leverage in the marketplace. Buyers may think that Smith is willing to trade a quick closing for a lower price – and they may be right. If Smith has no incentive to sell quickly, he may have more marketplace strength.

Sale prices are not based on what owners “need”: When an owner says, “I must sell for $300,000 because I need $100,000 in cash to buy my next home,” buyers will quickly ask if $300,000 is a reasonable price for the property. If similar homes in the same community are selling for $250,000, the seller will not be successful.

Sale prices are NOT the whole deal: Which would you rather have: A sale price of $200,000, or a sale price of $205,000 with an agreement that you will make a “seller contribution” of $5,000 to offset the buyer’s closing costs, pay a $2,000 allowance for roof repairs, fund two mortgage points, re-paint the entire house and leave the washer and dryer?

Plan Your Move

The time to plan your move begins once you’ve decided to sell your home. Some of the activities required to sell the home can actually help with the moving process. For example, by cleaning out closets, the basement and the attic there will be less to do once the home is under contract.

Your planning will be guided by a number of things:

Are you moving long distance?
If yes, you’ll likely require an interstate mover and the use of a large van.
Moving internationally?
Contact the embassy in Washington, DC, for information. Be aware that items which may be entirely common in the United States can be prohibited in foreign countries. Ask about customs protocols, duties and taxes.

Moving locally?
If yes, will you move yourself? You’ll need to consider packing boxes , peanuts, blankets or padding and a van rental.
Planning is key: Stock up on boxes , packing materials, tape and markers. Always mark boxes so that movers will know where goods should be placed.

Which Mover Should You Use?

There are a number of factors to consider:
Cost: You’ll want to spend as little as possible, but choosing only on the basis of cost can be a mistake. Movers must have the right equipment, training and experience to do a good job. A mover, no matter how large or small, should be able to provide recent references for home sellers with a similar volume of goods to transport.
Get mover estimates in writing: Be aware that it’s possible to get discounts through membership organizations and, sometimes, on the basis of your profession: Clergy, for example, sometimes qualify for a discount.

Always confirm mover credentials: Movers should be licensed and bonded as required in your state, and employees should have workman’s comp insurance.

Get a Checklist

Moving is a big job and checklist can make it more organized and easier. Here are some of the major items to consider:

Money: If you’re moving more than a few miles, then you should have enough cash or credit to cover travel, food, transportation and lodging.

Medicine: Keep medications in a place where they will be available during the move.

Number boxes: Make a list of boxes by number and indicate their contents. It makes it easier to account all boxes on arrival.Keep kids occupied: If moving with children, make sure that each has a favorite toy or toys, blankets, games, music and other items.

Moving historic, breakable or valued items? Such goods routinely require special handling and packaging. Have address books readily available: In case you need help.