6 Tips To Get the Best Price When Selling Your House
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The following is a contribution from my blogging friend Glen over at Monster Piggy Bank. He has a new site – How to Save Money. Aptly named, huh? 🙂 If you’d like to contribute to Frugal Rules, please contact us.
Buying or selling a house is a pretty big deal, particularly when you consider the amount of money involved in the average property transaction. If you want to maximize your profits, it’s important to know how to get the best return on your investment.
Recently my wife and I have been contemplating selling our own house. The plan is to move into a new one that will better accommodate our family. To help ensure that we get the best price possible, we have been doing a ton of research to assist with the sale, which I will share with you today.
Prepare your house for the target market
Probably the biggest thing that we have learned when selling a house, is to make sure that your house is set up to appeal to the correct target market. As an example, if you live in the suburbs, there is a good chance that your target market will be families with kids, so you need to make sure your house appeals to that demographic.
Decorate the house to suit the target market that you are trying to sell to. Remove all of your personal things and de-clutter. Remember, potential buyers want to picture themselves living in the house, they won’t necessarily like the same things that you do, which means all those personal things should be packed away.
People want to live in a house that feels nice, clean and open. De-cluttering will get you part way there, while painting walls and oiling decks will bring you the rest of the way home.
Fix up anything in disrepair
This probably should go without saying, but make sure that you repair anything that is either broken or falling apart. This includes getting into the garden and fixing that too. Sometimes a really nice outdoor area and garden can make up for other imperfections inside the house.
I remember visiting a friend’s open house a few years ago. He couldn’t be bothered fixing up the house prior to selling it, and so when people were inspecting it, I kept hearing comments about all the work that would be needed to fix the house. The disappointing thing was that most of the work was cosmetic, and could have been fixed in a weekend. Things like loose light fittings, a hole in the wall and a dilapidated back door – none of it was hard to fix, but I’m sure it knocked quite a few thousand dollars off the final sale price.
Take great photos
Having amazing photos to show off your house is one of the best ways to get people interested in your property. The photos should jump out at potential buyers and stand apart from all the other properties for sale.
Let’s face it, the photo is the first thing that is going to attract someone to your house when they view it online, and if they don’t like what they see, then there’s a good chance they won’t make it to inspect your house, and there goes a potential sale.
Test out your real estate agent
Most people use real estate agents to buy and sell property, so it’s important that you find an agent you like and who works for you.
One of the first things I would recommend that you do, is to go to existing open houses and act like a buyer. See how the agent treats you and how well they work the room with all the actual potential buyers. This will be a great indicator as to how the agent will perform when he or she is acting on your behalf.
Another thing that is good to do, is to obtain a few different quotes from various agents around the local area. This will give you a good idea as to how much your property could be worth, plus it will give you a chance to compare pricing structures and get to know the agents better.
Investigate similar properties in the same market
It’s always a good idea to know your competition. Inspect other properties in the area in the same price range as you are planning on selling you house at to see if your property warrants a similar price.
This gives you a great insight into how your property compares, and if your price might be too high or too low. Remember – try to be as objective and impartial as possible. Everyone thinks their house is the best, but you will likely be biased towards your own house as you have it setup the way you like it. Doing a bit of comparative research helps you bring some objectivity into your pricing process.
Set a strategic price
Setting a price can be difficult, but it is important to understand that price plays a critical factor in how easily you sell your home. Many websites that list houses will put them into price brackets, so you want to make sure that your house fits within those brackets and isn’t placed either too high, or too low where you may miss out on someone viewing your property.
Are you selling your house or have you sold a home in the past? What did you learn that you wish you would have done differently? What advice would you pass on to other home sellers? Have you ever been the beneficiary of a bidding war for your property?
Glen is the owner of www.howtosavemoney.guru a personal finance website dedicated to helping people save money.
Photo courtesy of: Dan Moyle
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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