What Is the Most Important Thing You Must Do in Selling Your Home?

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If you're ready to put your home on the market, you've probably focused on cleaning, decluttering, and getting the place ready to show to potential buyers. You may have made repairs and updated certai features. All of these activities may make your house more attractive to buyers, but the most important thing you can do to make sure your home sells is to set the right price. Price your house too high and it will linger on the market, unsold.

Know Your Market

Drive or walk around your neighborhood and see what else is for sale. Make notes about these houses and how they compare to yours. Note the square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, lot sizes, age and condition, as well as other ways in which these properties are similar or different from yours. Jot down the asking prices and, if possible, how long they've been on the market. Armed with this information, you'll have a better idea of how to help your home stand out in the neighborhood for buyers.

Analyze the Market

Ask your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis. The agent researches recent sales in your area and compares those properties to your house. By looking at recent sales prices for houses similar to yours, you can determine what buyers are willing to pay. Set your price at or even a little lower than those prices if you want to sell your home quickly.

Strategize With Your Agent

Using the information you've gathered, you and your agent can set a price for your home. Talk about how she'll market the property. Point out any unique features that make your home different — and better — than other homes in your neighborhood. Maybe you have a big backyard perfect for a family, a basement playroom for kids, hardwood floors or extensive landscaping. Your goal is to come up with descriptions in your listing that will make potential buyers see your house as a bargain.

Prepare for the Sale

Although setting the price is the most important thing to do to sell your house, you still need to show off your house to its best advantage. Give it a deep cleaning, clear out clutter so people can really see the rooms, and repair or replace anything that's broken or worn out. Mow and trim the lawn, plant flowering annuals and remove personal items such as family photos. Make the house as inviting as you can for your future buyers.


About the Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.

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