What You Need to Know Before You Sell Your House

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Are you putting your house on the market? If so, you have a lot to do. You not only have to get your house ready to sell, you have to get yourself ready, too.

First off, it is important to be unemotional about selling your house. That isn’t always easy because your house holds a lot of special family memories. Buyers, however, will be much more utilitarian. Harsh as it sounds, they won’t care about your memories. Remember that selling a house is a business agreement and you must not allow yourself to become emotional.

A clean house is your best selling point. Car dealers long ago learned they can price their used cars higher when they are thoroughly washed, waxed and detailed. The same rule applies to your home. Give your house a thorough cleaning — make sure you include every room. You might think no one will go in the basement, but they will!

The outside of your house also needs sprucing up — this is called curb appeal. Your bushes and shrubs should be trimmed and your lawn neatly mowed and edged. Get the weeds out of your flower beds and perhaps plant some annuals to add color.

If you have any cracked or peeling paint, get it fixed. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to give your house a fresh coat of paint if it needs it. While you have the brushes and buckets out, paint the interior rooms of your home a bright, neutral color.

Because potential buyers will come up the walkway to your front door, make sure it is neat, clean and welcoming. There should be no cracked windows or damaged weather stripping. The windows should be washed. If your roof has any mildew or stains, have it power washed. All the floors inside your home should be clean. Hard floors should be scrubbed and waxed and carpets shampooed and vacuumed. The house should smell fresh and clean.

Let’s talk for a moment about to price your house. Obviously you want to get as much as you can — but if the price is not competitive, your house may not sell. As a matter of fact, overpricing your home makes the other homes on the market look like bargains. Be realistic and determine what your house is worth on the market, not in your head.

Have your real estate agent pull up a list of comparable homes in your area that have sold recently. Look at houses that are the same size, have similar sized lots, have the same number of bedrooms, baths, etc. A buyer will have your house appraised, so it is good to know ahead of time what the actual street value is. It is easy to get emotional when pricing your home, but remember that people are not interested in paying more for a house than it is worth.

When potential buyers recognize you have taken good care of your home over the years it will go a long way toward closing the sale!

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