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Top 5 Things You Should Do Before You List Your Home For Sale

It can be an exciting and overwhelming process when listing your home for sale. There is so much to take care of to get your home in the right condition for buyers to see. Whether your local real estate market is strong, and you are competing against many other homes, or you are the only home on your street for sale, there are a few key steps you should take to maximize the value of your property. Here are the top 5 things you should do before you list your home for sale.

1. Walk-thru

Before doing anything, take a minute to walk through your entire home. Look at what things a buyer might notice such as stains on the carpet, rooms that need to be painted, holes in the wall, or pealed paint. While it can be difficult to notice these things as this is the home you have lived in, it is important to notice every little detail. You may need to have a friend come over or hire someone to do a walk-thru with you.

2. Repair

After you have done a walk-thru and seen what needs to be fixed, start the repair phase. Fix all of the cracks in the wall, repaint rooms that need to be painted, clean the carpets, and repair any hardwood floors that need done. The two areas that you need to really focus on is the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are the areas that buyers tend to scrutinize the most. After repairing everything that needs to be repaired, do a thorough house cleaning to make everything look new.

3. Take down belongings

While this may sound ridiculous, homes sell better when the buyer can actually picture themselves in your home. What this means is take down pictures off of the walls that have your family in it and any other special belongings that buyers may not associate with. This does not mean you have to move out before you list your home. But try to make it so the buyer can actually visualize themselves in your home.

4. Remove unneeded furniture

Believe it or not, rooms look bigger the emptier they are. Try to arrange your furniture to create as much open space as possible. And if you need to, remove extra furniture to create more space. The larger the house looks, the more willing people will be to pay for it.

5. Home inspection

The final thing you should do before you list your home for sale is do a home inspection. Doing a home inspection yourself instead of having the buyer do it has a number of advantages. First, it will prevent a buyer from putting a home inspection condition in their offer. Second, it will allow you to fix anything that a buyer may use to reduce your offer.

There are a number of things you will want to do prior to listing your home for sale. These are the top 5 things you should do before you list your home for sale.


Shutters Helping Your Home Sell

When potential buyers are looking at a home, many upgrades get their attention. Floor tile, fireplace, and tile backsplash are some popular additions to a home. One upgrade, however, really makes homebuyers take notice. That upgrade is plantation shutters.

Plantation shutters are interior shutters installed inside a window. Though the name is often used to describe any interior window shutters. The panels can be adjusted as needed to let in light or to keep it out. This adds shade to a home and can even help reduce the energy bills. Shutters also add privacy in areas that require it. For this reason, many people install plantation shutters in large windows over the bathtub or in the bedroom. Many people also use plantation shutters in windows facing the street. Plantation shutters can be used in every window in the home, but the cost for this would be great.

Plantation shutters are available in most every type of wood or in vinyl. Customers looking for a stained look should buy wooden shutters as vinyl offers a painted look. Some new vinyl shutters are made to replicate the look of wood. These are a cheaper alternative for those desiring wood.

Plantation shutter installation is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. Installation is quick and requires few tools. If you prefer, some companies do offer installation at an additional price. Contractors or handymen for hire can also be hired to install the shutters.

If you do opt to do the installation yourself, the most important thing is to accurately measure. You will want to make sure that your shutters are a precise fit for your window. An inaccurate fit will greatly detract from the shutters look and value. Manufacturers will offer detailed installation instructions. Home improvement stores also offer tips and suggestions for installation. In addition, instructions are available on the Internet.

For a classy and long-lasting window cover, consider plantation shutters. They add privacy, shade, beauty --and perceived value

Shutters are a wonderful addition to any home. They give the home an air of warmth and comfort, a feeling of home. They can be traditional or modern, farmhouse shabby or city chic.

Shutters can be made from a variety of materials, from vinyl to faux wood. The most popular, however is wood. Wood shutters, in general, are better made than their vinyl or faux counterparts. Though they are more expensive, they also add tremendous value to your home. Additionally, wood shutters offer more choices in style and design. They can be bought for all sizes and shapes of windows. For the moment, that is simply not the case with vinyl. If you live in a historic or landmark area, preservation of the history is important. Wood shutters are far more likely to reach that goal. In fact, some custom shutter companies will guarantee that their wood shutters are historically accurate.

Wood shutters can also be used inside the home. Plantation shutters are installed inside the windows in place of blinds. These offer added privacy and shade. Though they are offered in other materials, they are most often made of wood.

Wood shutters are available in most types of wood, including cedar, pine, oak, and maple. The shutters can be etched to be louvered, panelled, or raised panelled. The type you choose simply depends on personal preference and the look of your home.

Wood shutters are relatively easy to install, and require only a few tools. Detailed instructions can be found on the Internet or at home improvement stores. Shutter manufacturers also offer instructions for installation. If you prefer to have someone else do the installing, you can hire a local contractor. Some shutter companies also offer installation at an additional price.


Console Tables - A Great Addition When Trying To Sell Your Home

In this down housing market, if you are one of the millions who are trying to sell a home, you understand how tough it is right now. For the most part there are more homes on the market then people wanting to buy them. That means all aspects of your home and every detail you add, or forget, are going to count.

This is a good time to take a walk through and see what your house is missing. Often the answer is console or sofa tables.

First Impressions - What is the first thing people are going to see when they walk into your home? Is there anything welcoming them into the foyer? If they have an umbrella in hand, a purse, a package, where are they going to put these items? This is one of the many uses for console tables in a home. They are essentially a welcoming hand that will take whatever the potential homeowner needs to put down. A table in the entryway is also a great place to leave any extra brochures you have created to show off you home. Giving them pictures to take with them may help them remember your home, in living color, after they leave.

Living Space - Most people looking for homes have families or are thinking of having families down the road. They are looking at what a space can offer them. Console tables in the living room, where you have packed away board games, books and other 'family activities', can offer them a feeling that this room is meant for 'family time'. If you want to send this image home, set up a board game that looks as if it is in play on the top of one of the tables. They will be able to picture their family enjoying time together in this space.

An Organized Kitchen - One of the most commonly looked at spaces in a home is the kitchen. Tables can really add to a kitchen environment, when a prospective buyer is thinking of the gourmet fare they can create in this space. The keyword here is space. Kitchen space is often thought to be at a premium. Putting console tables in the kitchen will allow extra storage space, room for cookbooks, recipes and the other items the new owner will need to create their culinary delights.

These tips are just a start. Look around your house and see where else console tables may make a difference for the better. Consider that as potential buyers look at home they are looking for a space that looks clean, but comfortable. Understand their priorities. They want a beautiful space that they can live in.

By adding console or sofa tables to rooms throughout the house, you are helping them to understand how they will be able to organize all their things and still be able to live comfortably in the space your home has to offer. This extra touch may make your home be the one they can picture themselves living in happily, and may lead to a sale.


How To Sell Your Home Without A Broker

Each year homeowners who are selling their homes must make the decision of whether they will hire a real estate agent or sell their home privately. More and more homeowners are deciding that the benefits of selling their home without a broker makes sense. There are numerous advantages to selling one's home privately (commonly referred to as "For Sale By Owner or FSBO".

Perhaps the biggest advantage to selling a home privately is the savings you can make when you can avoid paying a sales commission to the listing agent. As you may already know, real estate agents work on a commission basis. The exact commission that an agent earns varies from one area to another; however, the average in most places is around 6%. This means that if your home sells for $300,000 then you must pay the real estate agent $18,000 when the sale of your home concludes.

Many sellers are also discovering that they like the fact that they are able to maintain complete control over the process of selling their home. When you choose to sell your home privately, you can control the frequency of showing your home. You are also able to maintain control regarding the way in which your home is presented when it is shown. If you want to light the fire in the fireplace, light candles, offer coffee or take any other action to set the right atmosphere, the choice is yours.

The fact that you, as the seller, are the sole expert regarding the topic of your home should not be overlooked either. There is really no one who is more informed regarding your home than you. As a result, you and only you can highlight the benefits and attractions of your home as well as the surrounding neighborhood to the best advantage.

Pricing Your Home Here's my motto when it comes to pricing - Don't just price to sell... price for PROFIT!

Pricing of a house is probably the most important, yet least considered aspect of selling your home as a for sale by owner - FSBO. The wrong price will cost you thousands of dollars any way you look at it!

A for sale by owner price that is "too low" will result in a "Net" that is thousands ($1,000's) less than what you could have gotten with a little research. A price that is "too high" will cause your house to sit on the market for a long time.... and possibly never sell!

Not selling means paying thousands more in mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance until you lower the price to what the market would have supported in the first place...or hire a realtor to sell it for you and pay an outrageous commission! To make matters worse, the wrong price causes your house to get "shopworn". The longer it stays on the market the more you'll be subject to really low-ball offers!

Incorrect pricing is the classic FSBO mistake! Getting the price right from day one increases your chance of a quick sale dramatically!


Selling Or Moving My Furniture When Relocating

When it comes to the decision of whether or not to bring your furniture along with you on your move or sell it off, you need to look at a few things. If the majority of your items have little to no sentimental value, sell them off before you move. You'll save a lot of money on the moving you need to do, and make some spending money for the trip as well. You may even get enough money to pay for your entire moving trip. If the items you have are high-end furniture you may want to take them along so you will not have to pay to replace them when you get to where you're going.

If you have the time to have a proper sale for your items, you'll end up making more money than if you are pressed for time and grab at the first decent offer you receive for your things. Put ads in any free newspapers or circulars in your neighborhood to let people know about your sale. Many of these free publications have little to no rules about the size or length of an ad to be placed, so you can feel free to list every single item you have in detail if you like!

Because it's easier to sell off your belongings before you move rather than carting them along and selling them at your new location, you should plan to have a series of sales if possible to get rid of as many items as you can. If you live near a university or college make sure you place a notice in the student newspaper or at least put up a sign on whatever public service area the school has set up for student notices. You'll be surprised at how many young people are looking for quality, functional pieces of furniture that can keep up with their lifestyles. After a few of these sales your list of items will rapidly shrink until you are left with just the last few pieces (which you may just have to take along because no one including you wants them). You can always just donate them to a charitable organization before you leave. This has the double benefit of helping someone out and also lessening the items that you have to pay to a moving company to your new location.

You should remember to take along whatever tools you have though, because chances are that whenever you get to your new place, there'll be furniture and appliances that will need putting together. With your newfound freedom from the old furniture, you can actually start to think about going out and getting some new things for your new life. This will have a therapeutic effect as you begin to settle into the newness all around you and start to make your new house a home. You can always decide to furnish your home with second hand furniture for the first little while until you can save enough money to buy the newer items you're dreaming of getting for your new home.


How to Sell Your Home in Any Market

A lot of people give up on selling their homes, or do not try to sell at all because they think you cannot sell a home in a down market. The truth is, you can sell a home in any market. There has been and always will be demand for housing. There are two critical factors that must be addressed, however, to ensure you can and will sell your home: exposure and pricing.

For the home to have adequate exposure, hundreds or thousands of potential buyers must be aware it is for sale. Just as you cannot post a 'For Sale' sign on your couch in your living room and expect to sell it, you probably will not be able to sell a home without exposing it to the marketplace. While this may evolve with new technologies that come about, in today's world, being listed on the MLS equates to market-wide exposure. The MLS database is the database of homes for sale in an area and is searched by thousands of real estate agents. The MLS also feeds property data to websites like Realtor.com®, major local brokerage websites, agent websites, and other sites. This allows active buyers to locate and compare homes, with or without the help of a Realtor®. Gaining this exposure can be accomplished one of two ways; first, you can list your home with a traditional agent that charges a listing commission. Secondly, you can hire a flat fee MLS listing broker that places the property into the MLS on your behalf for a flat fee, but does not charge a listing commission at closing. The second route saves money, but may require more involvement by the seller.

Once your home is on the MLS, people will know it is for sale. An equally important factor in selling the home is pricing. In a down market, you want to be the best priced home any way you slice it. Think about how you might search for your home. You might say that you want to be in a particular school district, 4 bedrooms or more, and built 2000 or newer. You want to be the least expensive home meeting this search. Try a few more searches people might try. You might put in your subdivision with a pool, at least 3 bedrooms. Are you the least expensive? You need to come up with a large group of homes where you are the cheapest alternative available. Do not be overly targeted in developing your list of competition. Do not assume that people are only searching for homes over 3500 square feet in your area and eliminating competing homes that are 3200 square feet. The more open your search criteria, the more effective this pricing technique will be.

Ask your listing broker (traditional or flat fee MLS) for some other criteria you may not be aware of. For instance, in Austin, Texas, homebuyers and Realtors® commonly search for the 8E map area. This is the portion of Westlake that is closest to downtown. In the south Scottsdale, Arizona, zip code of 85251, there is a distinct difference between certain newer estate properties and scores of older tract homes. Year built is going to be an important distinction beyond zip code. Also, do not overlook pending and sold properties. If you are the least expensive home meeting common search criteria, you are giving yourself a strong chance to sell your home.

Once your property is priced to sell, and marketed via the MLS, give buyers and Realtors® some time to see the property and decide if it is worth making an offer. However, realize that if you do not make progress towards that goal, you need to reduce the price. There is no exact time before re-assessing the price; for some homes it might be two weeks, for others two months. Regardless, reducing the price is almost always the correct thing to do if a home is listed on the MLS but not attracting offers. Do not be afraid to reduce the price a notable amount, and you may have to reduce the price more than once. Pricing and exposure will allow you to sell your home, even in a down market.


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