Sellers

Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done – and it may even be easier than you anticipate.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting your home on the market and learning how to sell your house:

Seller Questions?

The Right Listing Agent

Plain and simple, owning a home can improve your quality of life, provide stability and give you a sense of control you just can’t get from renting. You have a place to live when you rent, but buying is something much deeper – and better.

A skilled, qualified real estate agent brings tremendous value to the process. You’re relying on this agent on many different levels, so be careful to select someone with the right combination of education, experience, performance and local insight. Look for a proven expert who can cast a wide marketing net and attract as many potential buyers as possible.

Be sure to let your agent know the particulars of your situation. Perhaps you need to sell within a certain time frame, are relocating out of state, or are facing foreclosure. Keeping your agent informed helps set the path for the best way to proceed, ensures that your needs are met, and ultimately contributes to a successful transaction.

How an Agent Markets Your Home

Experienced agents understand how to accurately price your home and make it stand out in the market. They also have access to a vast referral network, enabling them to connect with potential buyers across town or around the world.

Here are a few avenues RE/MAX agents may use to market your home, both online and off.

Multiple photos: Studies show that buyers are more likely to visit a home that includes multiple photos of the listing. Well-lit, wide-angled photos highlight your home’s best features and important rooms.

Designated website: A customized website for your home is an effective online marketing strategy. It can showcase your home with photos, virtual tours or videos, and details about the property and surrounding neighborhood.

Virtual tours: Video tours can be posted with or without a designated property website. Giving buyers an inside look at your property online can get them interested enough to schedule a showing.

Home search websites: More than 75 percent of buyers start their home search online. It’s important that your listing receives full exposure in the MLS and in search engine results. Posting your listing on Craigslist, Facebook, newspaper websites and elsewhere can also be effective in reaching potential buyers.

remax.com: All RE/MAX listings (as well as listings from other companies) appear on remax.com, where millions of buyers browse for homes and see listings with multiple photos, property descriptions and other details.

Design Center: RE/MAX agents have access to a proprietary design center that enables them to create professional marketing materials of your home for print and/or online exposure.

The RE/MAX network: Another advantage of choosing RE/MAX is direct access to a network of nearly 90,000 RE/MAX agents around the world, many of them working with motivated buyers.

The RE/MAX yard sign: The RE/MAX Balloon is among the most recognized logos across all industries, not just real estate. A RE/MAX yard sign in front of your house makes an immediate, positive connection with potential buyers who already know the brand.

Your RE/MAX agent likely has other techniques that will attract qualified buyers in your specific market.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

Smart, competitive pricing is essential. When you price too high, your home stays on the market longer, prolonging the process and increasing your expenses along the way.

Home Seller Mistake No. 1: Pricing Too High

“I can always lower the price later if I don’t get any offers.”

That statement costs home sellers millions of dollars every year.

Yes, you can always lower your asking price, but that’s not a good strategy. Time and time again, experience shows that sellers who list competitively from the start get a better price than sellers who list high and then go lower and lower.

Why? Psychology.

When you price too high, here’s what buyers think:

“Wow, three price cuts in the last four months… There must be something wrong with that house.”

“With all the price cuts on this house, the sellers must be desperate. Let’s offer them far below what they’re asking and see if they bite.”

Sound Pricing Strategies

A far smarter approach is to find a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market and then work together on setting the right price. A good agent can help you avoid the overpricing trap.

Prepping Your House for Sale

Potential buyers get an impression of your home – either positive or negative – within 30 seconds of walking through the door. Having them see your home in tip-top selling shape is an absolute must.

There are countless ways to put the freshest face on your home, many of them costing little more than a bit of your time. Here are a few pointers for the most significant impact:

Outside: The Power of Curb Appeal


• Clear any clutter and keep lawn decorations to a minimum.
• Mow your lawn and trim shrubs.
• Add bushes and/or colorful flowers.
• Sweep sidewalks, porch and driveway.
• Remove or update any dated or personalized fixtures.
• Put all toys away.
• Fix damaged gutters, shutters, siding or roof shingles.
• Add a tasteful welcome mat to the front door.
• Clean all windows inside and out.

Consider a Home Inspection When Selling

  • A home inspection isn’t just for buyers. It’s also something sellers should seriously consider before putting their house on the market.

    Why? Quite simply, you don’t know what you don’t know. Imagine getting a great offer on your home only to discover, during the middle of the process, that it needs considerable repairs.

    This is the kind of surprise that can lead to buyers pulling out, costing you time and money on a number of fronts. It’s better to know problems from the start, and either deal with them before listing or price the home accordingly.

    A seller’s inspection also provides a reference point from which to compare the findings of the buyer’s inspector. In particular, having a different professional opinion can work to your advantage in price negotiations.

    Your home inspection is a sales tool

    Having your home inspected before listing can also be an effective sales tool. You can confidently say that your home has been pre-inspected and is in tip-top shape, making that much more attractive to buyers.


Home Value Report, Quick, Easy, Free

Find out what your home is worth today! Simply fill out this form and you will receive a confidential e-mail with the current market value of your home. As always, it’s absolutely free and there is never any obligation.

Buyers

Buying a home is a big decision. The financial and emotional stakes are high, but the rewards can make it all worth it. This material can help you prepare to start your home-buying journey.

If you’ve been waiting for the best time to buy a home, your wait might be over. In fact, taking a number of factors into consideration, buying a home before 2014 could save you a lot of money.

Here are just a few reasons why? This is why now is the time to buy!

  1. Interest rates will rise
  2. Home prices are on the rise
  3. Homes are still affordable
  4. To protect yourself from inflation

Buyers Questions?

The Benefits of Home Ownership

Plain and simple, owning a home can improve your quality of life, provide stability and give you a sense of control you just can’t get from renting. You have a place to live when you rent, but buying is something much deeper – and better.

The intangibles are tough to measure, but there are other benefits you can quantify:

Financial investment:
Your monthly mortgage payment creates equity for you, not your landlord.

The interest on your mortgage is a tax deduction:
While this isn’t a reason in itself to buy a home, it’s nice to get a break at tax time.

Fixed monthly housing payment:
If you opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, the monthly rate of your mortgage won’t change for the length of the term.

The Importance of a Buyer's Agent

A real estate transaction is a complex process involving stacks of paperwork and a number of outside service providers and contractors.

An experienced buyer’s agent can guide you through the process, answering your questions and serving as your advocate (see the Anatomy of a Home Purchase). Your agent will help you find the property that fits your needs, submit offers and counteroffers, suggest a good property inspector and other professionals, and provide all sorts of relevant advice.

With a buyer’s agent, you’ll have someone on your side, looking out for your interests every step of the way.

Deciding Where to Live

If you’re unfamiliar with the area where you’re moving, your buyer’s agent is an invaluable resource. He or she can offer insider knowledge on neighborhoods, schools, access to recreation and shopping districts, and the many other details on local neighborhoods and subdivisions.

It’s important to have a clear picture on the features that matter most to you in a home or location. Creating a list of “must haves” and flexible “nice-to-haves” from the start will make things a lot easier for you.

Anatomy of a Home Purchase

For most people, finding the right home begins with a house-hunting strategy combining personal preferences, guidance from others (including an agent) and a mix of neighborhood exploring and online search.

For some, the search takes a while; others find what they want right away. In either case, your real estate agent can be a huge resource of insight and guidance, working through issues or complications that arise along the way.

Here’s a general outline of what to expect during a home purchase, from the buyer’s perspective.

Buyers make a purchase offer.
This is it! You’ve found the home of your dreams, looked over disclosure documents, reviewed comparable sales data, talked it over with your agent and submitted an offer. The sellers may accept your first offer, but more often will return a counteroffer. In fact, additional negotiations are common, and your agent will help you through this generally stressful stage.

How Much House Can You Afford?

Knowing how much you can afford to pay is a crucial step in your search. Nailing down your budget early will make the overall process more focused and less stressful.

Here’s a good way to figure out how much you can afford:

The 28/36 Rule

The 28/36 rule is an established benchmark used by many lenders to determine how much credit to offer you. Here’s how it works:

The “28” refers to the notion that no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly household income should go toward housing costs, which include mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

To calculate, simply multiply your gross monthly income (amount before taxes) by .28. Use this amount as a guide for how much house you can afford.

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