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Seller’s Guide

Here are some tips that you will find helpful regarding all important aspects of selling the house.

Home buyers and home sellers each face their own challenges, but for many, the two processes go hand-in-hand. Most people cannot afford to own multiple homes, so the decision to move generally means both buying a new home and selling your current property.

If you are attempting to both sell your home and buy a new one, you may feel overwhelmed and could benefit from turning to your real estate agent for help. While some agents work only with home sellers or home buyers, others may be prepared to help with both tasks. If not, their firm may still serve both needs, or they may recommend an experienced colleague.

Buying a Home First

It may be impossible to perform the closings for both deals on the same day for several reasons. For example, when moving to another state, travel time may make this arrangement impossible or impractical. Even if the two deals are closed on dates very close together, you should expect a lapse between the two closing dates.

If you are buying first, be prepared to temporarily cover the cost of two households. If the first home does not yet have a buyer, or the deal is not yet finalized, be sure to keep the property you are selling in good condition.

Buying first may provide you with some logistical benefits. You can move furniture and personal belongings more conveniently from your old home into your new one without having to coordinate with a new homeowner.

Selling a Home First

When selling a home first, the most immediate problem becomes the need for a place to live between the two transactions. You may be fortunate enough to have relatives or friends living near either destination, and can try staying with them briefly.

You can also rent a home during this interim period. Home buyers may be willing to rent their new purchase back to you for a brief period while you complete your purchase of another home.

If you own only one home at a time, there are fewer overlapping responsibilities. It is a good idea to take some time at the beginning of the process to determine whether it will be easier for you to buy or sell. A real estate agent can help clarify the housing market conditions in both neighborhoods so that you can decide which step to take first.

Trying to price your home to sell? Not sure how much it’s worth? Read some of these pointers and determine the right price for your home.

You’re contemplating listing your home on the market, but you’re not sure how much its worth. You have a vague idea about a general price range, but you want a more accurate understanding.

Don’t worry – you’re not going to need to determine the price of the home yourself. Your real estate agent is a listing price expert. Your agent will guide you through the process, helping you understand how much your home may be worth and how quickly it may sell, based on a wide and complex array of market conditions and variables.

Your agent will consider factors like the home’s characteristics and market comparables when they’re determining a price.

Many agents have been in the business for numerous years, overseeing dozens or hundreds of transactions. Their expertise will help you determine how to price your home.

Read on if you’re interested in developing an understanding of some of the many factors that agents consider when they’re pricing your home.

#1: Your Agent Will Look for Comps

Let’s take a moment to explain the concept of ‘comparable’ properties, and how these relate to the unique features in your home. This is what your agent will weigh when he or she is determining a price for your home.

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Imagine that you own a 3-bedroom, 2-bath single-family home built in 1990. Three neighboring single-family residences have recently sold for $280,000 to $330,000, so you presume your home value is somewhere within that range.

But that assumption might not be accurate.

Your neighbor’s homes feature different qualities than yours. Your neighbor’s house has 4 bedrooms; another neighbor has only 1.5 baths. One house has a fireplace and swimming pool; another has a larger yard. One has Viking appliances. One neighbor has hardwoods throughout, while another has wall-to-wall carpet. One is sold as-is.

Are you starting to see the differences?

Your agent can’t just look at the raw sales numbers for these houses. To arrive at an accurate pricing picture, your agent must adjust the sales numbers based on variables such as:

  • Property age
  • Square footage
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Condition of property
  • Upgrades and features

Real estate agents are professionally trained in adjusting for these variables to arrive at a true comparison.

Ask your real estate agent to walk through the comps with you, explaining how he or she arrived at the final numbers. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised at how much your property is worth.

#2: Ask About CBx

CBx is a proprietary platform that homebuyers, home sellers and real estate agents use in order to make the process of determining an accurate valuation of your home run more smoothly. Your Coldwell Banker® agent will be specifically trained and experienced in using CBx.

Ask your agent to explain the many special features of CBx when you’re pricing your home. Your agent will explain how it is a useful solution for determining the best price for your property.

#3: Understand the Trade-Offs

Finally, initiate a conversation with your real estate agent about a critical question: Do you want to sell your home for top dollar, or do you want to sell it as quickly as possible?

Some homeowners and agents jointly make a strategic decision to slightly underprice their homes, just by a small amount, to facilitate a quick sale. These are self-described “motivated sellers” who want to unload their home as quickly as possible. They may be moving to another state, for example, or they may need to sell their current home before they can buy another one.

That being said, however, there are many ways you can position your home for a quick sale at full price. Making small improvements, such as fresh paint and exterior landscaping, can be effective at creating a ‘wow’ factor. Staging your home is another great way to entice buyers to make an offer.

Speak with your agent about how you can price your home for top dollar, without sacrificing speed.

No one wants to spend a fortune when it comes to selling a home, but you may want to spruce up a few areas to make your property more appealing to potential buyers. When it comes to upgrades, remember to focus on simple, clean home improvements that will make your home appear more modern and elegant.

  1. Install New CountertopsBuyers may examine a kitchen space more closely than bedrooms and bathrooms because this is usually the area where they will spend the majority of their time. Small changes, such as replacing the countertops with a nicer material may be enough to give the space a new and fresh look. Consider using materials that are common in neighboring homes. A buyer may be less likely to purchase a home with tile countertops when the surrounding homes on the market all have granite or marble.
  2. Replace Hardware and FixturesOld, ruddy cabinet handles, kitchen spouts and light fixtures can be a turn off to buyers and make the home seem outdated. Replacing these fixtures with modern hardware is a simple and affordable solution that can be done quickly. Most home improvement stores carry a variety of fixtures and hardware, and you can easily compare costs by doing some research online.
  3. Refinishing FloorsUpdating the floors of your home is another important upgrade to consider as you prepare to sell. Hardwood floors can be refinished for a reasonable price, and you may want to consider shampooing any stained or worn carpets.
  4. Update the Paint ColorA simple coat of paint can go a long way in livening up a home or a particular room, and the right color can make certain smaller rooms appear more spacious and inviting. Most real estate agents agree that neutral and light or bright colors can make a room stand out, while still giving a clean appearance.
  5.  Install New Doors You may overlook the appeal of new front, back and side doors, but these features are some of the first things a buyer sees when they visit a home. You may consider painting your current doors to make them stand out or replacing any doors that are outdated or need repairs.

When selling your home, there are several things you should look for throughout the sales process. Common mistakes can make a potential buyer overlook your property or can jeopardize a promising sale.

  1. Avoid using language by claiming a price is “the best” or saying a home is “ideal.” Overly positive sentiment can make potential home buyers cynical, causing them to wonder why an advertisement is filled with overwhelming praise rather than concrete facts. While highlighting your home’s good points is common sense, work together with your agent to decide what to include in your house listing.
  2. Make sure your property is readily available to potential home buyers. While it’s a good idea to organize an open house, it may not work well with many buyers’ schedules. You may want to talk to your real estate agent to set up a secure lockbox outside your home, so he or she can easily show the property at times that are convenient for each home buyer.
  3. Make your house appealing to home buyers. Have a real estate agent go through the home first and specifically point out any obvious cosmetic issues. You should also depersonalize your home by putting away any family photos and other belongings. Staging your home may also be worth considering in order to attract buyers.
  4. Include an adequate number of high quality photos of your home online. Because most home listings have photos posted, buyers and their agents may wonder if a lack of pictures means there is a flaw with the home you are selling. It is also important that these photos are in high-resolution as grainy pictures of your home may turn away potential buyers.
  5. Price your home competitively. Oddly enough, pricing a home too low can be a problem. While a low price is attractive to home buyers in general, extreme or surprising figures will cause buyers to wonder what is wrong with your property and why it is worth so little. You should consult with your real estate agent as they have the knowledge and expertise of your local area and current market conditions.
  6. Keep your emotions at bay. Your home is likely to be the source of many memories, which could make the decision to sell very difficult. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is allowing your emotions to interfere with the home selling process. Trust your real estate agent to guide you so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

If you want to sell your property quickly, consider putting in some extra effort to make your home for sale stand out from the competition. Though the old saying “location, location, location” still holds true in today’s real estate market, many of the conventional methods home sellers rely on haven’t proven effective throughout recent years.

A favorable market for home buyers and the advent of new technologies means today’s housing market requires proper timing, preparation and a good real estate agent. Try some of these tips to make the most of your home listing and sell your property faster.

Give Your Home a Face Lift
A variety of small home remodels and upgrades can do wonders for attracting home buyers. Some key projects you can do to make your house for sale more appealing include caulking small cracks and holes in walls, trimming bushes and trees, adding a coat of paint to your home’s exterior or interior and pressure washing the driveway.

Be Prepared to Give In a Little
While you shouldn’t give in to every request a home buyer makes, it’s important you are willing to negotiate various terms to move the sale along. This could include offering help with closing costs and adding in appliances that are already in the home as part of the sale.

Price your Home Realistically
List your home at a competitive and realistic price early on in the process. Studies show internet real estate listings get the bulk of their views in their first two weeks online, making it even more important that you set your property at an attractive price.

Embrace Technology
Take advantage of today’s technology to advertise your home. A real estate agent can help you develop a barcode so a potential home buyer can scan a code on a “for sale” sign and have vital information downloaded directly to his or her own smartphone. Social networking and a video tour of your home can also be very effective to enhance marketing appeal when it comes to selling a home.

Clean Up and Put Away
Finally, keep your home clean and attractive. According to Parade Magazine, staging your home before a sale may greatly increase chances that it will sell faster. You should also be sure to depersonalize your property by putting away any family photos and other belongings.

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