Thinking About Selling Your Home

Thinking About Selling Your Home

Thinking about selling your home?
Owning a​ home is​ the​ original American dream .​
It’s the​ old frontier spirit,​ wanting to​ claim your own tuft of​ the​ New World .​
Then again,​ these days it​ also makes perfect economic sense .​
Experts estimate that all of​ the​ homes in​ the​ United States alone are worth a​ combined $14 trillion .​
That goes a​ long way to​ explain why a​ housing boom has been sweeping the​ globe .​
Where there is​ a​ boom,​ though,​ there may be a​ bust .​
Read any headline from your local newspaper,​ and you’ll see headlines such as​ Bye-Bye,​ Housing Boom to​ Housing Boom is​ Leveling Off .​
Some economic forecasters predict a​ bubble that may be about to​ burst .​
They make you​ wonder: am I​ missing the​ boat?
Whether you’re looking to​ cash in​ on​ this real estate bubble before it​ pops—or simply wanting to​ move to​ a​ bigger home or​ move across the​ country—selling your home can be more a​ nightmare than a​ dream .​
Not only do you​ have to​ find and trust a​ real estate agent .​
You need to​ prep your home for open houses .​
You need to​ haggle with prospective buyers .​
Not to​ mention,​ you​ have to​ worry about the​ moving and selling of​ all of​ your valuables.
It’s almost enough to​ make you​ want to​ live in​ one home for the​ rest of​ your life—just as​ folks did in​ your grandparents’ day .​
Then again,​ your home is​ worth a​ percentage of​ that $14 trillion .​
Don’t you​ want to​ see just how much?
As hectic and horrible as​ selling a​ home may seem,​ it​ really isn’t so bad if​ you​ break it​ down into a​ few simple rules .​
If you​ don’t believe us,​ read the​ rules for yourself.
Fuss over the​ façade .​
Your home’s future owners do not want to​ worry about repairs and renovations as​ soon as​ they move in​ .​
So make certain they don’t .​
Be sure to​ have your home immaculately clean before you​ invite prospective buyers over .​
Redecorate if​ your interior is​ outdated .​
And invest in​ minor renovations if​ necessary .​
You’d be surprised what a​ coat of​ paint can do.
Focus on​ the​ fine details .​
Prospective buyers will leave no stone unturned when they visit your home .​
They will test every light switch,​ run every faucet,​ and lift up every toilet seat .​
Everything—and we mean everything—should be in​ working order before your open house.
Double check for blown out light bulbs and leaky faucets .​
Scrub the​ bathroom and clean up any ring around the​ bowl,​ tub scum,​ and any other nasty surprise.
Don’t settle for maybes on​ safety .​
Ensure that there are no safety hazards anywhere on​ your property .​
Something as​ small as​ uncovered electrical sockets or​ as​ large as​ an​ unfenced pool can scare off buyers,​ especially parents of​ small children.
Create a​ soothing selling atmosphere .​
Imagine the​ last time you​ visited a​ bed and breakfast .​
Your home should be as​ welcoming and accommodating as​ that .​
One easy way to​ accomplish this is​ by brightening up the​ place .​
Turn on​ all your lights for your visitors .​
Plus,​ fluff up your bedroom .​
After all,​ most people want the​ bedroom to​ be the​ most comfortable spot in​ the​ house .​
Make sure it​ is—at least when buyers are around.
Clear the​ joint .​
Along with the​ last rule,​ there is​ the​ standard real estate practice of​ vacating the​ premises when buyers come for tours .​
This is​ done for good reason .​
Buyers are there to​ evaluate your home,​ not meet your sisters,​ sons,​ cousins,​ and cats .​
So send your family to​ the​ mall for a​ day of​ shopping,​ or​ to​ the​ park for a​ picnic.
Cut the​ clutter .​
All of​ your stuff can get in​ the​ way,​ too .​
That’s why it’s important to​ start packing and storing your personal belongings as​ soon as​ you​ know you’re going to​ move .​
An empty house is​ a​ cleaner looking house is​ a​ more attractive house .​
You don’t want your perspective buyer opening a​ closet and having a​ bowling ball fall on​ their head,​ do you?
Make a​ killing on​ said clutter .​
One option is​ to​ simply move your personal items to​ your new home and create instant clutter there .​
That’s the​ way of​ the​ pack rat .​
Or,​ you​ could sell what you​ no longer need and turn a​ quick profit .​
That’s the​ way of​ the​ fat cat.
If you​ choose wisely—the latter option—be sure not to​ hold your garage sale on​ the​ same days as​ your open houses .​
Neighbors in​ their undershirts and jeans on​ your front lawn do make for a​ great sales ploy .​
Instead,​ it​ makes you​ look desperate and could hurt you​ come negotiations .​
Schedule your yard sale on​ separate days.
Better yet,​ sell your goods online .​
Classified Web sites allow you​ to​ negotiate with potential buyers,​ get the​ best rates for your stuff,​ and ship it​ off at​ your own convenience .​
And it’s all accomplished on​ your own time,​ inside your own home (where you​ can wear your undershirt and jeans and no one will care).
Take a​ deep breath .​
Lastly,​ never let the​ home-selling experience overwhelm you​ .​
Sure,​ there are a​ load of​ responsibilities to​ take care of .​
But that is​ what your real estate agent is​ there for .​
They handle all of​ the​ grunt work .​
They do all of​ the​ hard talking with the​ buyer .​
They make all the​ follow-up calls .​
And they showcase your home for you​ .​
Your job is​ just to​ smile,​ be polite,​ and answer the​ buyer’s questions if​ they come up.

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