Home Swoon Home: Tips for Sellers

Having had my house on the market for over two months, I consider myself pretty well-versed in staging and selling.  Essentially, you are offering up your home on a silver platter to potential buyers.  Here are my tips to survive the process.

* Choose your real estate agent wisely.   In a buyer's market like the one we are in now, the right agent is absolutely key.  Find out how s/he negotiates; research the other homes s/he has listed; ask his/her strategies for marketing.  Don't worry about being aggressive or pushy: you are dealing with your home - a huge investment.

* Do a pre-sale inspection.  It is such a wise investment to have an inspector walk through your home and tell you the issues that will come up in a buyer's inspection.  This way, you can adjust your sales price and your bottom line and also have a realistic idea of what you will be facing from your buyer.  Definitely take advantage and make as many repairs as you can while you can.

* Keep the house showing ready every single day.  Yes, most buyers will give a day or two notice before a showing, but some do not.  In our case, around 4 pm one day, an agent drove by with her clients and asked for an immediate showing.  You just never know.

* Offer incentives.  A home warranty is an inexpensive (@$500) bonus to a buyer.  Another idea is to offer a bonus to an agent who gets in an accepted offer by a certain date.  Yes, you want to appeal to buyers, but you want to get the house on their agents' radars, too.

* Do an appraisal.  It is a good idea to have your own home appraised before the house goes up for sale.  Base your price on this amount and hand it on over to the buyers.  In a market where low-ball offers abound, having a black and white justification for your asking price is a sound idea.

* Talk to friends who have been through it.  One thing that made my selling experience a brighter one was knowing I could talk to a few friends who have been through the selling process.  It is incredibly stressful: more stressful than anything I have ever done in my life (this includes all schools, the Bar exam, childbirth, trials ...).  Talking to someone who's been there, done that and is a calm, reassuring, validating voice of support and reason helps tremendously.

There you go! Just a few tips from me on surviving the selling process. If you are selling, I wish you much luck and a quick and easy sale!

See you swoon,

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