Nevada City Virtual Tour

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to get your home ready to sell in 2012

Study the local market. The most successful home sales are the listings that are priced right from day one. Ask any agent: even in the toughest markets, there are listings that sell quickly, mostly because the one-two punch of the property itself and how its price looks to buyers like if it's a very strong value.

In order to position yourself and your property at the point of pricing nirvana, you’ll need to do some leg work. Stat. You don’t need to pick an exact price this moment, unless you’re planning to list your home super soon, but you can get started on what I like to think of as the ‘thinking seller’s’ three-pronged approach to pricing now, by:

visiting open houses,
studying nearby listings, and
talking with an agent.

Before the year is up, try to visit a handful of open houses in your neighborhood. This will help you get a sense of the types of homes that are on the market, what condition they’re in, and how they are priced. Keep in mind that no home is going to be exactly like yours, but if it’s similar in size, location and features, then buyers that see that property will probably be the same buyers that come to see yours - and they will be comparing list prices.

Another great prep tool in gearing up to sell your home in 2012 is to study similar homes for sale on Trulia or Zillow! Pay particular attention to what features they have, how they are described and priced, any incentives the sellers are offering (e.g., closing cost credits, etc.) and how long they’ve been on the market. (Hint: you might not want to price your home right in line with one that’s been on the market over a year. Obviously, that home is overpriced, and that is NOT a result you want to replicate!)

Finally, one of the most efficient and nuanced ways to get to know your local market is to begin speaking with an agent who sell homes in your area. Ask these pros for their opinion on what you should list your home for, what recent sales they think are the most comparable (and why), and how long they would expect your sale to take given their experience and current conditions.

Get a head start on your ‘home' work. How much prep work your home needs really depends on its current condition. A good starting point for many sellers is to order an inspection. Most buyers will get their own inspection before closing a deal if some time has passed, but getting ahead of them with your own will help you avoid any unwanted surprises later on in the transaction. An inspection will give you a reality check on your home’s condition, enabling you to decide upfront whether it’s worth it to fix something now or simply reduce the price in consideration thereof.

(a) obtain any advance inspections your real estate agent recommends,
(b) have any reasonable repairs completed,
(c) pre-pack and declutter your place, and
(d) prettify your home’s curb appeal - painting the shutters and sprucing the landscaping goes a long way toward attracting buyers.

Please visit and contact Gary Tippner for help.

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