Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Residence: Selling

  • Consider selling without an agent but most should use an agent approx. 90% of home owners who try to sell the house without an agent end up using an agent, after losing valuable time
  • Hire your own lawyer – don’t share the lawyer with the buyer a lawyer can’t adequately represent the buyer and seller
  • Call your local government to find out how to check tax records for your house and other houses in your area (it’s free)
  • Don’t let buyers move in until after closing (they may find problems with the house and refuse to close)
  • Best time to sell is spring or early summer most buyers want to move during the summer so they won’t have to switch their child’s school during school year
  • Select an agent:
    • Get referrals
    • Ask them if they would use that agent again
  • Get from your agent:
    • List of comparables (what comparable residences in your area have sold for recently)
    • Ask what your residence would list for and what you can do to your residence to increase selling price fast
  • Keep contract duration short this is an incentive for agent to sell your house soon most houses are sold within the first two months
  • Don’t negotiate a lower commission up front your agent will have less incentive to sell your house instead of others
  • Consider offering an incentive bonus to any agent who finds a qualified buyer within 3 weeks of being listed
  • Set an appropriate price too low and you’ll lose money, too high and your house won’t compare favorably with other houses in that price range
  • Lock box – be careful, some agents may give the key to the lock box to strangers
  • Keep your house in good condition, with things put away

Showing residence to prospective buyers:

  • Ensure good first impressions, e.g.
    • Put away clothing and personal items

Front yard:

  • Neat, clear of debris and toys, etc.

Front door:

  • Clean and neat

Walls:

  • If dingy, repaint or re-wallpaper

Faucets:

  • Ensure not dripping a drip discolors the sink and suggests that plumbing repairs may be required

Door knobs:

  • Ensure not loose

Doors:

  • Ensure not sticking or squeaking

Windows:

  • Ensure not sticking

Drawers:

  • Ensure not sticking

Bathrooms they’re a selling point, especially for women:

  • Everything shining
  • Clean and repair bathtub and basin caulking

Kitchen:

  • Spotless
  • Appliances: spotless

Rooms:

  • Remove clutter and excess furniture to make rooms look larger

Closets and storage areas:

  • Dispose of items you don’t need to make them look larger this will also help you when you move
  • Neatly store remaining items

Exterior:

  • Repaint if needed

Before prospective buyer arrives:

  • Open drapes and curtains
  • Ensure temperature is comfortable throughout house
  • Avoid having too many people present so prospective buyers can more easily imagine it as their house, without too many strangers too many people may make prospective buyers feel like intruders and rush their visit
  • Get pets out of the way (unless they’re quiet and well-behaved)
  • Consider soft music or radio, but avoid anything (e.g., TV) which might inhibit discussions

If you have a realtor:

  • Consider not being at your residence when prospective buyers are there

During visit by prospective buyer(s):

  • Try to stay in the background (let your realtor do most of the talking)
  • Don’t talk too much it will distract from their inspection of your house
  • Don’t apologize for the appearance of your house it’s reasonable that a house being lived in will not look perfect

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