Planning Tips for Sellers

Sellers should consider these top tips to achieve a successful home sale in the current market.

The beginning of the year is always a good time to start planning for the sale of your home. It's easy to be confused by the various contradictory predictions of each year's real estate market and what they might mean to you as a home seller. Some real estate experts say prices will drop, some say they'll flatten, while some say they'll increase although only slightly. In fact, the reality is that since real estate is local, all three are likely to occur but in different areas. The best way to maximize your investment in any given location is to select the real estate agent who meets your needs.

There are several tips that sellers should consider to achieve a successful sale in the current market.

Know Your Home's Current Market Value
With that information in hand, you will be able to:

1. Set realistic expectations for your home sale. You need to understand your home's true current value in your local real estate market. Online real estate websites now offer instant home valuations. While these automated tools are fun to use, they are based on past home sales and use computer formula that do not necessarily reflect current market trends. As such, automated home valuations can be misleading as they are not necessarily reliable predictors of the value that today's buyers will place on your home.

2. Compare several real estate agents and select the one who best meets your needs. Selling a home is the largest single financial transaction most people will ever conduct, yet many homeowners simply choose the first agent they interview rather than shopping for the agent who's right for them. Ask several agents for proposals that include information on how they would market your home, the number of homes they've sold in your area, references from home sellers who've used their services, and their commission rate. After choosing the proposals that best meet your needs, interview the agents before making a final selection. With the large number of homes on the market, you need a real estate agent who can help you differentiate your home from the competition. The only way to select the right agent is to shop and compare.

3. Offer to cover some of the buyer's costs to make the purchase of your home more financially attractive. Paying for all or a portion of the buyer's closing costs, funding a portion of the buyer's financing, or paying for inspections or repairs that reduce the buyer's out-of-pocket expenses help differentiate your home from the competition.

Enlist Expert Help: Select a Qualified Real Estate Agent
An experienced, local agent is the best resource to help you meet your real estate goals. Coupled with your own research, information provided by your local real estate agent can help you determine if this is the best time for you to buy or sell a home.
  • Compare and interview several experienced, licensed real estate agents who specialize in your market area.
  • Ask for each agent's recent success stories in your market.
  • Contact and interview the agent's former customers.
  • Choose an agent who has been successful in your local real estate market and whose experience, marketing approach, commission rate, personality and business style best meet your needs.
With a little research, and the right real estate agent, you can be successful in selling and optimize your real estate goals.