1. Begin with timing.  Holidays and graduations can be examples of times to avoid.  The mid summer market can be slow when families are vacationing.  Often it’s the spring market that is best.  However, watching inventory levels may be the most important of all.
  2. Consider the competition in the area and in your neighborhood.  Are other homes for sale?  Are others for sale on your street?  If so, it may be best to wait.
  3. Preparation is very important.  Make sure the home and grounds are looking their best.  Most buyers will visit the home at the beginning of a listing period.  You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.
  4. The list price is very important.  Redfin, Zillow and others estimate value for all to see, so be mindful of that.  Your agent can help with pricing strategy.
  5. Professional, flattering photos of the home can create more buyer traffic.  If the agent is not good at taking photos, insist on a professional.
  6. Is your agent a deal maker or deal breaker?  Do they have good communication skills and respond quickly?  Buyers and  agents can be impatient when needing information.  Does your agent get along with other agents and know other agents in the area?  You don’t want your agent to be the weak link in the process.

Getting Your Price

  1. Selling quickly and getting your price often go hand in hand.  If the home sells early in the listing period, the selling price is often higher.  If it sits on the market for a while, the number of days are public knowledge and often lead to lower offers.
  2. When accepting an offer, make sure the buyer is committed to the home, as well as the agent.  The last thing you want is for a deal to fall through, forcing you to go back on the market when the “new listing buzz” is gone.  A good insurance policy for this is having back up offers, or an agent who stays in touch with interested parties.
  3. Ultimately, preparing the home to look its best, and not overpricing it, will play a large part in maximizing the selling price.

Smooth Transactions

  1. There are a number of parties to each real estate transaction.  The buyers, the sellers, the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent, inspectors, a title company, a loan company, and sometimes a family member.  Any one of these parties can run things off course.  Your agent must be the glue keeping it together and the shock absorbers to handle the bumps so you don’t have to.
  2. Communication is an important piece as well.  Having a responsive agent who communicates well will often keep home sellers informed and at ease.
  3. Your agent’s experience negotiating offers and repair requests can relieve the pressure from these potentially stressful situations.  In addition, your agent’s experience understanding real estate contracts can also come into play.
  4. If your agent has the ability to come up with solutions to problems, your odds for a smooth and successful transaction will increase.  Active agents who have done lots of transactions are more likely to have the knowledge and resourcefulness to solve problems should they arise.
  5. Ask your agent if they have reputable and reasonably priced service people.  This can save a lot of time and money when it comes to preparing the home for market or for needed repairs.

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