Tips To Sell Your Home

Here are some basic tips for selling your home - safely:

Make It Accessible. Have your realtor put a lockbox on the front door so other realtors can get a key from the box to enter your home and show it to prospective buyers. Realtors can call your realtor's office for the code to the lockbox.
  • There may be some risk to security if you turn off your alarm and have a lockbox on the door, so don't leaving money, jewelery, personal documents or other valuables where they can be stolen. Lock them in secure places or in a bank safe deposit box.
  • Do not leave your mail visable when you have your home for sale. Lock it up to protect your identity from theft by prospective buyers who may enter your home with a realtor. While realtors try to "police" accompanying buyers, they can be distracted easily.
Ensure Parking For Visitors. If you live in a condo, ensure the concierge will allow guest parking for realtors and prospective buyers. If you don't have a concierge, make sure your realtor tells others where to park to view your unit. If you live in a house with parking, ensure your driveway or parking area is not obstructed by your vehicles, garbage cans, snow, or other obstacles.
  • Remove signs that intimidate visitors such as 'Beware of Dog' or 'No Parking - This Means You'.
Leave It Furnished. If you can, have furniture in your home while it's being sold. Not only does furniture give buyers a better feel for the house, it deters theives and vandals. Set lights on timers in a vacant home to make it look as though someone is home. Also, cut your lawn and clean up the yard regularly so the home doesn't look derelict or like a target for vandalism.
  • Inventory furniture and be alert to breakage or use. Do not put up with a realtor who allows visitors to wear their shoes in your shower or bathtub, lie on your bed, or use your home office computer or phones.
Leave During An Open House. Let your realtor handle open houses and do not remain during an open house. No buyer enjoys having a meddling homeowner conduct tours of homes for sale; it is uncomfortable and hinders honest feedback from buyers to agents so they can improve their next showings.
  • Inventory valuables you cannot put in a bank vault and check them and your locked drawers and doors when you first return after an open house or private showing. If there is anything missing or locks broken, call your realtor or police immediately without destroying evidence of theft.
Pick The Best Agent You Can Find. Do not accept the first realtor you meet unless he or she is perfect. Interview agents in their offices to get a feel of their expertise and organization and view them at other open houses to see how they react with buyers. You can try to sell a home by yourself but, if you do, you cannot get listed on the MLS/Realtor service, and you might not know the ins and outs of this complicated business. Do you really want to be on hand to show your home, day, after day, after day...?
  • Pick an agent who is reliable. Once you have narrowed the field, check references, asking particularly if the agent has given others honest, reliable service and has cared for the house and possessions when showing prospective buyers through it.
Set A Realistic Price. Work with your realtor to set a price that is comparible with similar homes in the area. Too high a price will hurt the market for your house and perhaps delay its sale by months. Too low a price will lose money; the days of multiple offers prompted by low asking prices are over. In this economy, buyers are waiting to see how low the price will fall so set a price that makes sense and hope for buyers who need a home in your area now. A good time to sell may be as parents look for the best school district for the coming school year - then the buyer has to move or lose a place in that preferred school.
  • Be extremely careful of offered deals with low deposits and unreasonably long closing dates. The buyer may be hedging bets by tying up your home hoping other home prices will fall to much lower levels.