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Top 10 Tips: How to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

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Are you thinking about selling you home in the next year or two? If you want to get the most money out of the sale (and I’m sure we all do), then I would start with these 10 steps on how to sell your home for top dollar.

1) Price it right – Hop onto Zillow or Trulia to see what other houses are selling for in your area. You don’t want to overprice your home because then you will turn off prospective buyers forever, and you don’t want to give your home away, but once you find that median number, be sure that it will be in a searchable range for the buyer. In other words, if you find that your home is worth about $202,000, don’t list it for that because the buyers that are looking for a home under $200k will never see it. And, the buyers that are looking to spend $225k will ignore it because it is not at the upper-end of their budget. Instead, price your house at $199,900. You will receive much more traffic, and hopefully a quick offer.

2) Get your home appraised before the sale – You might think that your house has nothing wrong with it, but you certainly don’t want to find out it does the day before closing. This will no-doubt turn the buyer off and they might end up looking for other properties. It might take some money to get the appraisal in advance and to fix a few things, but having a smooth closing is absolutely crucial to getting the top dollar out of your home.

20130306 - house3) Get the best listing agent – I am amazed how many people just work with the first listing agent that they are introduced to. Having the right agent is a lot like having a quality financial adviser. Your house is a huge investment, which should prompt you to shop around for an excellent real estate agent.  If you are thinking about selling the home yourself to save money, most of the time it just isn’t worth it. Your home won’t receive the proper exposure and the buyer will expect a discounted price because there isn’t an agent involved.

4) Curb Appeal – The curb appeal of my home absolutely blows… The grass has dead patches, the bushes are scraggly, and the front entrance is dirty and has no dimensional appeal. If I wanted to sell my house soon, I would correct all of those things. As they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression! If the rest of your home is beautiful, but the entry turned off the buyers from the get-go, it is very likely that you will not sell your home anytime soon.

5) Stage your home – I was recently in a home that baffled my mind. There was a bed in the living room, there was an open space with no furniture, and there was an intermediary room that had a couch and television. The set-up was not appealing and I could not for the life of me figure out how it should have been set up! You do not want your prospective buyers trying to figure out your space. There should be no question how to use each room. Put a computer desk in that empty space so it can be labeled as the office! If you don’t have the furniture to put there, rent some! Staging your home is that important.

6) De-personalize your home – You want your prospective buyers to see themselves living in your space, not you. Take down all of those family photos and find some cheap replacements that match the rest of your decor.

7) Light up your house – A well lit house makes it appear large and inviting. Dark and dingy room will almost always deter buyers. Open up those curtains and let in all the light possible, and rent additional lighting if you have to.

8 ) Hide your pet – Nobody wants to know that you own a dog that sheds like crazy. Hide the kennel and clean your furniture, and use an air freshener if you have to.

9) Update Your Kitchen – The kitchen update doesn’t have to be expensive. Paint your old cabinets and buy new knobs. If your stove is 20 years old, replace it with a $500 brand new one. This could make a $10,000 difference in the final price, so it’s well worth the investment.

10) Be Ready to Show Always – Keep your house neat and orderly so you can effectively show your home at a moment’s notice, because this likely will happen. Stay on top of it and your home will earn top dollar when it comes time to show.

Do you have any additional tips to sell your home for top dollar?

Housing Make Money Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

6 Comments

  1. I completely agree with staging a home. I too was in a house that was just way too confusing for me to figure out how to use the space. It could have been a great space if done right, but it wasn’t so I kept looking for the right house to buy!

    • Without staging, it sure turns off the buyer doesn’t it? Soo important for the seller to stage the home properly for prospective buyers.

  2. As a real estate agent myself, I couldn’t agree more with Step #1. Pricing it right is the most important step – what ever the market is, and what ever the condition of the property. Price it too low, and you’ll lose thousands of dollars. Price it too high, and it will sit on the market. The longer it sits, the less likely it is to sell, and the more likely it will be that you will need to cut the price back to where it should have been in the first place. But in the meantime you’ll be paying the monthly payments until it does sell.

    Another issue on price is that as a property sits on the market it can become viewed as damaged goods. This happens to houses that don’t sell. The owner may then be forced to take the property off the market, and re-list at a later date. That can cost even more money particularly if you need to sell the home quickly. Get the price right and you’ll have more wiggle room on the other issues.

    • Yup, listing a house can be tricky. If you sell the house within a week or less, then you probably priced it too low and might be kicking yourself. But, if you price the house too high I believe it does get the impression of a “damaged good”. When people look at it they think, “This house has been on the market so long, there must be something wrong with it”. Thanks for the comment Sissy!

  3. I never thought about De-personalizing my home as being a part of home appraisal. You made a good point that you want people to see themselves living in the home and not you. I guess its all about helping them envision themselves living there.

    • That’s right Johnny! The more you can get the potential buyer to picture themselves in your house, the better the odds of selling it to them. 🙂


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