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There are so many issues that need be considered when putting a home on the market. Here are 5 questions that you should be asking yourself that I would like to help answer. You will find that the answers will educate you and help you make an informed decision about how best to move forward with the sale of your home.
What level of attention and expertise do you need from a listing agent? Some sellers want a consultant who provides real estate expertise and others want their realtor to back off while they make final decisions. Just as real estate agents need to determine what level of services they are going to provide to sellers, sellers need to decide exactly what services they expect their listing agent to provide and make those expectations clear up front.
What market-specific information do you have or have a plan to acquire? To keep a home from sitting on the market, when possible, timing the sale to coincide with months of greatest buyer activity is smart. Prime selling season can vary from city to city and from home to home! An experienced local real estate agent can guide you on the best timing for your home. Spring might optimum to put properties on the market in general, but some markets are also lively from Labor Day until mid-December.
Do you know who your likely buyer will be? An agent who sells a lot of properties similar to yours is apt to have a better feel for which properties appeal to specific groups of buyers, which means they get snapped up fast while other homes linger on the market. What property condition and features do your probable buyers demand before they make an offer? If you don’t know that appeals to whom, plan to spend a few weekends visiting open houses similar to yours in what you think will be your broad price range. Then, pay attention to who attends the open house, as well as what the house looks like.
Do you understand that today’s buyers expect homes to look like properties they have seen on HGTV? What that means in real life is staging a home to sell in no longer optional in most markets. Do not think that watching HGTV qualifies you to stage your own home in a way that hits the right buttons with buyers. Do not think that because you are an “artist” or you studied interior design in college that you understand how good stagers merchandise a house. You need professional help with this every bit as much as you need a plumber to replace the kitchen sink. This is not a DIY opportunity.
Are you aware that in the wake of the housing crisis of a decade ago, mortgage lending standards have changed dramatically? Is financing readily available for your home? If not, Sellers – or their agents – need to get financing options nailed down and addressed to the extent possible. Any issues that might affect whether Buyers can find a lender to offer a mortgage on specific properties will be depend on whether your home qualifies for FHA, VA or USDA financing.
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