Sell your Home fast, for top dollar

1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home. Your motivation to sell is the
determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects
everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money
and effort you're willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale.
For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one
approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take
longer thus determining a different approach.
2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself. The reason(s) you are
selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping to
yourself you don't pro- vide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For
example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed
at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that
your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is
only for you to know.
3. Before Setting a Price - Do Your Homework. When you set your price, you
make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As
a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as
possible. If you start out by pricing too high you run the risk of not being
taken seriously by buyers and their agents and pricing too low can result in
selling for much less than you were hoping for.
Setting Your Home's Sale Price
If you Live in a Subdivision - If your home is comprised of similar or
identical floor plans, built in the same period, simply look at recent sales
in your neighborhood subdivision to give you a good idea of what your home
is worth. If You Live in an Older Neighborhood - As neighborhoods change
over time each home may be different in minor or substantial ways. Because
of this you will probably find that there aren't many homes truly comparable
to your own. In this case you may want to consider seeking a Realtor to help
you with the pricing process.  A good way  to establish a value is to look at
homes that have sold in your neighbor- hood within the past 6 months,
including those now on the market. This is how prospective buyers will assess
the worth of your home.

4. Do Some "Home Shopping" Yourself. The best way to learn about your
competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open
houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and
other features. Particularly note, not only the asking prices but what they
are actually selling for. Remember, if you're serious about getting your
home sold fast, don't price it higher than your neighbor's.

5. When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit. Sometimes a good appraisal can be
a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let
prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an
appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there's no guarantee
you'll like the figure you hear.
6. Tax Assessments - What They Really Mean. Some people think that tax
assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that
assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to
property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home's true value.
7. Deciding Upon a Realtor.  According to the National Association of
Realtors, nearly two- thirds of the people surveyed who sell their home on their
own say that they wouldn't do it again themselves. Primary reasons included
setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints.
When deciding upon a Realtor, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that
are too low as those that are too high. All Realtors are not the same! A
professional Realtor knows the market and has information on past sales,
current listings  and will provide their background and references.
Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience,
qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone
that you trust and feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf.

8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate. Before settling on your asking price
make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example,
set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to
know if you'll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market
value if you want to sell quickly.
9. Appearances Do Matter - Make them Count! Appearance is so critical that it
would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and "feel"
of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other
factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel and smell even
though you may have priced your home to sell.

10. Invite the Honest Opinions of Others. The biggest mistake you can make
at this point is to rely solely on your own judgment. Don't be shy about
seeking the honest opinions of others. You need to be objective about your
home's good points as well as bad. Fortunately, your Realtor will be
unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home more
11. Get it Spic n' Span Clean and Fix Everything,  Even if it Seems
Insignificant. Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter,
declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn't work, and
the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and
you'll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you're not just competing
with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home. The last
thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that
they may be intruding into someone's life. Avoid clutter such as too many
knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place
a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance
the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or
potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.
13. Deal Killer Odors - Must Go! You may not realize but odd smells like
traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If
prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they'll start
being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don't leave
any clues.
14. Be a Smart Seller - Disclose Everything. Smart sellers are proactive in
disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce
liability and prevent law suits later on.

15. It's Better With More Prospects. When you maximize your home's
marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer.
It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each
other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.

16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations. Let go of the emotion you've
invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your
negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught
up emotionally in the situation.
17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated. The better you know your buyers the
better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows
you to control the pace and duration of the process.
As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for
the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to
negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move
quickly. Armed with this information you are in a better position to
18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay. As soon as possible, try to learn the
amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down
payment is. If their offer is low, find about the buyer's
ability to pay what your home is worth.
19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close. Quite often, when buyers would
"like" to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for
completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.

20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home.
Beware of closing on your new home while you're still making mortgage
payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager
(even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.
21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage. It has been
proven that it's more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it
becomes forlorn looking, forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers
start getting the message that you have another home and are probably
motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.
22. Deadlines Create a Serious Disadvantage. Don't try to sell by a certain
date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in
23. A Low Offer - Don't Take it Personally. Invariably the initial offer is
below what both you and the buyer knows he'll pay for your property. Don't
be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering
price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a
closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting
point from which you can negotiate.

24. Turn That Low Offer Around. You can counter a low offer or even an offer
that's just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first
offer isn't seen as being a serious one. Now you'll be negotiating only with
buyers with serious offers.
25. Maybe the Buyer's Not Qualified. If you feel an offer is inadequate, now
is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of
mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their figure, and
suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your
26. Ensure the Contract is Complete. To avoid problems, ensure that all
terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale.
It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties
involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit
monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type
of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what
personal property is included (or not) in the sale.
27. Resist Deviating from the Contract. For example, if the buyer requests a
move-in prior to closing, just say no. That you've been advised against it.
Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.