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Getting Top Dollar For Your Home

What makes the difference between homes that sell and homes that don't?

The difference is that some sellers begin to prepare their home long before the "For Sale" sign goes up in the front yard. If you take the time to carefully plan and prepare for the sale of your home, you have a much better chance of getting a price that pleases you. The consensus among real estate agents is that first impressions are one of the most important things to a potential buyer, who will form an impression of your home within the first few seconds they view it.

Take a look at the entire exterior of your home. Does it need a coat of paint, weeding, general clean up? Be sure that the front entrance is clean, uncluttered, freshly painted, swept and repaired. Add an attractive wreath, potted flowers on the porch, or anything that gives your home a friendly, inviting feeling.

A major mistake that many home sellers make...especially in a crowded market...is to forget the high value of simple curb appeal. Remember, if there are a lot of homes for sale in your neighborhood, people are going to drive right by the ones that don't look attractive from the outside. And, don't think that you can simply come down in price during negotiation to make up for a run-down appearance. It doesn't work that way.

Check the condition of the interior next. Could your house benefit by a coat of interior paint?

Do your carpets need to be cleaned? Another choice aside from replacing badly stained carpets is carpet dying. The technology has progressed to the point that carpet which has life left in the fiber can be professionally dyed to brighten it and cover stains at a quarter of the cost of replacement, and it can last up to two years before being redone or replaced. Keep the entire house clear of clutter, including closets and counter tops, and give the whole house a deep cleaning, waxing, and brightening. Put down new shelf paper, bring out your best towels, mop and wax the floors. To make your house appealing to the majority of the market, neutralize the colors as much as possible. In addition:

  • Keep children's toys in one room
  • Recycle all old newspapers magazines and unnecessary furniture to make rooms appear clutter-free and spacious.
  • Get rid of pet and cigarette odors!
  • Don't forget to spiff up the attic and garage.


Now that you are considering selling your home, it is a great time to repair grout and caulking, invest in new shower enclosure doors, new towels, a new coat of paint, and by all means repair those leaky faucets! Low-flow toilets are required by law to be installed before the transfer of title in some areas, so inquire now and replace the old flusher if necessary. And, if you are replacing a toilet but not required to install a low-flow model, do it anyway...everyone is energy and conservation-conscious nowadays. Do your best to make your bathrooms and kitchen as bright, clean, modern and spacious-looking as possible.

Finally, you will need to determine a fair and reasonable sales price. A qualified professional, can provide you with comparable sales figures and sales prices of similar homes in your area, which will help establish an appropriate market value for your home. Keep careful records of all repairs and replacement costs while preparing the house for sale. Many of those expenditures can be used as a one-time write-off and will figure into the adjusted sale price of your home for tax purposes. Chat with your accountant before you begin the process; discuss what you have in mind, and get professional advice beforehand.

Market Analysis
Seller's Guide
Prepare Your Home
Moving Checklist
How To Get Top Dollar
Seller's Tips

Tips For Sellers
What is Escrow?
Both buyer and seller deserve the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all of the instructions in the Purchase Contract have been satisfied. Buyers and sellers submit signed documents and buyer’s deposit money to be held by an independent neutral third party (Escrow).
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