Selling Your Home in Today's Market – The 4 Most Important Steps

You want to sell your home or maybe worse yet you have to sell your home now and all you hear from everyone is how "It is not a good time to try and sell your home" or "No way are you going to be able to sell your home "and then the most scary statement of all is" You will have to give it away or pay someone to buy it from you. "

It's an understatement to say that for most of the United States the news you hear about real estate is not good. With anything you read or hear on the news it many times is reporting the worst case scenario and blowing things out of proportion. What's worse is many times the news actually is perpetuating the problem by keeping bad news out there longer than the problem. Almost good news does not sell.

In any market in America people are still buying homes. People are moving in and out of areas for a multitude of reasons and always will. While the numbers may be lower than in previous years there are people still selling their homes and will continue to do so in good and bad markets.
The good news is that yes yes you can sell your home if you are motivated to do so and will take a few steps to maximize your chances.

Getting started, your first real step is to decide if you really want to sell or have to sell your home now. Selling your home can be a chore so you have to be up for the task. Keeping your home spotless day after day and being available to show your home at a moments notice, like a knock on your door, can be tiresome but necessary. If your market area is decreasing and you can wait you might want to, however it is all relative. Prices may continue to deteriorate and you may be waiting for awhile. Also if you intend to buy another home then then you will be able to buy less as well. In a perfect world you would buy low and sell high but I do not know anyone that has been very successful at this.

Okay you've decided to sell your home, now you must get prepared. A huge part of this preparation leads us into the second big step which is to throw all your emotions about your home and personal attachment to it, out. You have to look at selling your home as a business venture. Bottom line is you are trying to make as much money as you can. This seems to be hard for many people as this is the home that you may have been in for years and created some incredible memories in. These memories unfortunately are insignificant when it comes to selling your home. Matter of fact, you will have to make your home look less personal, take away the numerous family portraits, so a potential buyer can see your place as their new home. It is not about what you like it is about what they like or want.

Now that you are mentally prepared, your third and very critical step is to get your home in order. This means you will have to repair everything that is broken and have your home in tip top shape. In today's market you will not receive an offer at all or be lowballed if there are a lot of things wrong with your home. As the selling market has slowed down more and more homes are on the market that you will be competitive with. Potential buyers will want to take more off the price than it would have cost you to fix it. Start with the repairs at the same time that you start to declutter your home. A potential buyer will only see your stack of papers or dust in all the windows seals if it is not clean and tidy. They will never see how spacious and wonderful your home really is.

Unless you are one of those rare people that are extremely neat and organized, this will take some time, put together a plan of attack. Start with one room at a time and do not move on until it is done. This can be an overwhelming process for most people as you do not realize how much stuff you have accrued until you start going through it. Now may be the time to call in a family member or friend to help you. It is also helpful to have someone you trust come in and give you some advice as to how your home might look to a new person walking in for the first time. Do not let this hurt your feelings as this could save you time and money. Do the rooms look overcrowded? Maybe now is the time to have that garage sale and get rid of the extra furniture or furniture that looks too worn or dirty. If a garage sale sounds like too much work, donate your items to a charity and take a write off on your taxes. If you can not bear to part with it then rent a storage room or use a family members garage and pay them a little a month to store until you sell your home. Rooms with too much furniture will appear small. Also you might want to rearrange your furniture to make sure you maximize the functionality of each room. Potential buyers need to know they can fit their furniture into your home. The above step is referred to more recently as "staging" your home.

Now you have your home in the best condition it's been in for years, it probably looks so good that you are rethinking you decision to sell it, but now it's time to price your home, your 4th and final step. If your home is not priced right, it will not sell, regardless of how great it looks. Your homes selling price will be determined by what a similar home in your area has recently sold for or despite a pending sale. This is what a realtor or appraiser will do to determine value. They look at a competitive market analysis of homes that have sold or are on the market currently in your neighborhood. Of course they will add or subtract value based on how your home matches up to other homes that have sold in the last few months. Appraisers and lenders alike use to look at closed sales within the last 6 months to determine value but in many areas they will only go back a few months now as values ​​have continued to decline in some areas.

Whether you are selling your own home or working with an agent it is universally agreed that the above steps are mandatory. There are many people and companies available to help you through this process in any area, such as mortgage companies, title escrow companies, for sale by owner companies and of course Realtors. However, you can sell your home yourself. There is a multitude of free advice and information out there to help you. If you keep a positive attitude and do not let all the negative news out there influence you, your home will be sold in no time at all.

Source by Melanie Sanders