Your Region's Real Estate Professional
(989) 708-1845
Daniel Dwyer-Snyder

Tips for Selling Your Home

Tips for Selling Your Home

1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home

Your motivation to sell is what determines how you will approach the process, from what you set as 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 a quick sale, you would take one approach. If you are not in a rush and want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer and require a different approach.

2. Keep the Reason You are Selling to Yourself

The reason you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By not telling prospective buyers your reason, you don't give them any leverage. For example, should they learn that you are in a hurry to move, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason you are selling is between you and your agent 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 the seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to your asking 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, but pricing too low can result in selling for much less than you could have. As your agent, I can help you establish the best price based on recent comparable sales in your area.

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. Pay special attention not only the asking prices but to the actual sale price. 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 what 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 own homes say they wouldn't do it again. The main reasons were setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints.

All Realtors® are not the same! A professional Realtor knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide background and references.

8. Appearances Do Matter, so 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 respond to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

9. 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 and bad points. Fortunately, your Realtor® will be open about discussing what should be done to make your home more marketable.

10. 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 are intruding. Avoid too many knick knacks. 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 décor magazines are great for tips.

11. Deal Killer Odors Must Go!

You may not realize but odd smells like food, pets and tobacco smoke can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a pet, or that you smoke, they'll start smelling things and seeing stains that may not even be there. Don't leave any clues.

12. 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 lawsuits later on.

13. Keep Emotions in Check during Negotiations

Let go of the emotion you've invested in your home. Be detached, and adopt a businesslike manner in your negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get emotionally caught up in the situation.

14. When the Buyer Would Like to Close

Quite often, when buyers "like" to close is when they “need” to close. Knowing their deadlines for completing negotiations again gives you the upper hand.

15. 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.

16. 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 looks abandoned, forgotten, and unappealing. Buyers get the message that you have another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

17. Deadlines Create a Serious Disadvantage

Don't try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.

18. Don't Take a Low Offer Personally

Invariably the initial offer for your property is below what you want and below what the buyer knows he'll pay. Don't be upset; be objective. Ensure the offer 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.

19. 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 being taken seriously. Now you’ll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.

20. Ensure the Contract is Complete

To avoid problems down the road, 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 signed 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.

21. Don’t Deviate from the Contract

For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, say that you’ve been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

Call (989-708-1845) or email me ( with any questions.