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Selling your home

In today's market, many homeowners have considered "going it alone" and selling their homes without the help of a Realtor to "save the commission." However, once they realize how complex and intimidating a real estate transaction can be, many people reconsider and enlist the services of a Realtor. It requires an organized, step-by-step approach that many homeowners just don't have the time, skill or experience to carry out. Here are the guidelines to consider when selling a home:

Setting the value of your home: Along with location and condition, the pricing of a house is a major component of the reasons why a house will--or will not--sell quickly. Although the pricing should not be dealt with lightly, some sellers have a tendency to put too much emphasis on the price and not enough on the condition, ending up with a house that is overpriced for its current condition and the overall market. Even if you find an unaware buyer that appears willing to pay the high price, when the buyer applies for a mortgage, the chances are good that the lender's appraisal will force the price back down to market value.

Should I Buy or Sell First: If you are already a home owner who wants to buy a new house you will usually face 'buy or sell first' dilemma : You may have no house to live in if you sell first You may carry two homes and mortgages when you buy first  Buying and selling at the same time would be the best case scenario, but it is rather unlikely. You can reduce the cost of your transition between two homes by having more insight into how the real estate market works. This knowledge will help you decide on what you should do first.

Repairs to Make Before Selling: Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than peeling paint, a broken window, or a splintered front step. It's wise to make necessary repairs before you put your house on the market. A house in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership-one of your best sales tools. Start by covering these areas:

  • Fix or replace damaged flooring
  • If you can't afford to replace damaged or worn floors, consider offering the buyer an allowance for renovation.
  • Fix any drains faucets or plumbing fixtures that aren't operating.
  • Fixes can range from replacing a faucet washer to buying a new toilet.
  • Paint the interior.
  • Fill and paint any cracks or holes in the walls. (You may need to repaint entire walls to mask such repairs.)
  • Replace burned out bulbs and broken electrical sockets.
  • Turn on all the lights before a showing.
  • Replace or fix broken stairs.
  • Fix any creaks as well.
  • Replace old locks and doorknobs.
  • Make it easy for a buyer to walk in.
  • Fix any doors that don’t open easily, including the garage door.
  • If your garage door opener doesn't work, repair or replace it.